Author Topic: Humorless Politics Thread  (Read 816949 times)

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Re: Humorless Politics Thread
« Reply #870 on: October 27, 2008, 02:25:38 PM »
It's misdirected to blame a guy for voting against his own best interest?

it depends on his motives.  in your simple world, the answer is probably yes.

*cough*bullshit*cough*

Andy

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Re: Humorless Politics Thread
« Reply #871 on: October 27, 2008, 02:27:16 PM »
It's misdirected to blame a guy for voting against his own best interest?

it depends on his motives.  in your simple world, the answer is probably yes.

*cough*bullshit*cough*

good point.
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todd

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Re: Humorless Politics Thread
« Reply #872 on: October 27, 2008, 02:30:22 PM »
My point was that Republicans always seem to blame non-existent enemies like socialists or people worse off than them instead of directing their anger at people who are actually in power. And it just hurts themselves and their bottom-rung compatriots.

I'm mad at them for their stupidity, but the lion's share of my hate is directed to the scumbags at the top.

sound like it:
Ahhh poor Republicans who vote against their own interests. I always like to imagine them at their $9-an-hour ditch-digging job, contemplating their shitty education, no health insurance, no growth potential, no union to improve their standard of living... and they're thinking to themselves, "Socialists are ruining this country."

just in case there is anyone who wants to be reasonable: the only reasonable answer I can see is that both sides are full of scumbags and you're really just picking the lesser of two evils. anyone championing either side is kidding themself.

Well, uh, I guess if you focus on that one post as the sole measure of my seething hatred (and ignore my other 20 replies in this thread), you might think I'm throwing all the blame on the slobs. Buuuuuuuuuut that would be pretty myopic and stupid.

Beth

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Re: Humorless Politics Thread
« Reply #873 on: October 27, 2008, 02:35:07 PM »
Living in such a rural part of the country, I know a lot of the guys/ladies who are dead-set on McCain/Palin. And they are kind, decent people who have been brainwashed by rhetoric of the right. The left does it too. I've met people who think Barack Obama will start some kind of revolution or something( I believe that he'll be a decent president, but I don't think he's going to save the world). And how about all of the LGBT groups that are endorsing the Obama/Biden ticket, even though both men are staunchly anti-gay marriage? Talk about voting against your own interests. In general, people vote with the party they have always voted with because they feel secure about it, and it's really not something new or something they should be blamed for.


just in case there is anyone who wants to be reasonable: the only reasonable answer I can see is that both sides are full of scumbags and you're really just picking the lesser of two evils. anyone championing either side is kidding themself.

Yes. The main reason I'm voting for Obama rather than a third party person is to keep Palin out. She made the other side a little more evil.

Sarah

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Re: Humorless Politics Thread
« Reply #874 on: October 27, 2008, 02:38:55 PM »
I'm against gay marriage, too.  But that's just because I'm against marriage in general.  Buncha saps, all of yez.

yesno

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Re: Humorless Politics Thread
« Reply #875 on: October 27, 2008, 03:16:53 PM »
That whole "poor Republicans are stupid because they vote against their own interests" angle is ridiculous.  I haven't read "What's the Matter with Kansas" so I don't know how nuanced Thomas Frank is, but I'd hope he is more sophisticated than claiming that unless you vote yourself more government entitlements, you're stupid. The same line of thinking would also say that rich people are supposed to vote against aid to the poor, otherwise they're stupid, because it's against their self interest.

(If you really believe in free markets and economic liberalism, then the problem for you should really be that Republicans haven't delivered, given that they're the party that likes to pretend like "helping particular powerful industries and companies" is the same as "helping capitalism.")

I could just as easily reframe the issue as "Look at those noble Republicans, voting in the best interest of their country rather in their own narrow self interest."  Or, "Look at how they vote for their own long-term interests rather than for short-term gain." I wouldn't vote for a "give me a free pony" platform even though I want a pony.  Of course, if you believe whatever it is the Republicans are saying, you might believe that you *are* voting in your self interest.  Republicans have been very successful at selling the myth of unlimited social mobility.

I support confiscatory inheritance taxes and free education at every level based solely on academic ability and not ability to pay, as well as universal health care and a guaranteed minimum income.  All well to the left of Obama, I might add.  (And I'm sure I'm to the right of him on other issues.) But not because I think it's mostly in the interests of one class or another, but because I think it's what is in the interest of the country.  And I try to acknowledge that people who disagree with me might just do so because they think that their ideas are in the best interest of the country, not because they are evil or stupid.  Like Joe Biden says, question people's judgement, but don't be so quick to denigrate their motives.

Andy

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Re: Humorless Politics Thread
« Reply #876 on: October 27, 2008, 03:31:56 PM »
That whole "poor Republicans are stupid because they vote against their own interests" angle is ridiculous.  I haven't read "What's the Matter with Kansas" so I don't know how nuanced Thomas Frank is, but I'd hope he is more sophisticated than claiming that unless you vote yourself more government entitlements, you're stupid. The same line of thinking would also say that rich people are supposed to vote against aid to the poor, otherwise they're stupid, because it's against their self interest.

(If you really believe in free markets and economic liberalism, then the problem for you should really be that Republicans haven't delivered, given that they're the party that likes to pretend like "helping particular powerful industries and companies" is the same as "helping capitalism.")

I could just as easily reframe the issue as "Look at those noble Republicans, voting in the best interest of their country rather in their own narrow self interest."  Or, "Look at how they vote for their own long-term interests rather than for short-term gain." I wouldn't vote for a "give me a free pony" platform even though I want a pony.  Of course, if you believe whatever it is the Republicans are saying, you might believe that you *are* voting in your self interest.  Republicans have been very successful at selling the myth of unlimited social mobility.

I support confiscatory inheritance taxes and free education at every level based solely on academic ability and not ability to pay, as well as universal health care and a guaranteed minimum income.  All well to the left of Obama, I might add.  (And I'm sure I'm to the right of him on other issues.) But not because I think it's mostly in the interests of one class or another, but because I think it's what is in the interest of the country.  And I try to acknowledge that people who disagree with me might just do so because they think that their ideas are in the best interest of the country, not because they are evil or stupid.  Like Joe Biden says, question people's judgement, but don't be so quick to denigrate their motives.
I think the proper reply would be:
**raises roof**
Breakfast- I'm havin' a time
Wheelies- I'm havin' a time
Headlocks- I'm havin' a time
Drunk Tank- not so much a time
George St.- I'm havin' a time
Brenda- I'm havin' a time
Bingo- I'm havin' a time
House Arrest- I'm still havin' a time

todd

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Re: Humorless Politics Thread
« Reply #877 on: October 27, 2008, 03:32:34 PM »
That whole "poor Republicans are stupid because they vote against their own interests" angle is ridiculous.  I haven't read "What's the Matter with Kansas" so I don't know how nuanced Thomas Frank is, but I'd hope he is more sophisticated than claiming that unless you vote yourself more government entitlements, you're stupid. The same line of thinking would also say that rich people are supposed to vote against aid to the poor, otherwise they're stupid, because it's against their self interest.

This suggests the only thing Democrats offer poor people over Republicans is government entitlements. Which isn't the case at all.

Beth

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Re: Humorless Politics Thread
« Reply #878 on: October 27, 2008, 03:48:42 PM »
That whole "poor Republicans are stupid because they vote against their own interests" angle is ridiculous.  I haven't read "What's the Matter with Kansas" so I don't know how nuanced Thomas Frank is, but I'd hope he is more sophisticated than claiming that unless you vote yourself more government entitlements, you're stupid. The same line of thinking would also say that rich people are supposed to vote against aid to the poor, otherwise they're stupid, because it's against their self interest.

(If you really believe in free markets and economic liberalism, then the problem for you should really be that Republicans haven't delivered, given that they're the party that likes to pretend like "helping particular powerful industries and companies" is the same as "helping capitalism.")

I could just as easily reframe the issue as "Look at those noble Republicans, voting in the best interest of their country rather in their own narrow self interest."  Or, "Look at how they vote for their own long-term interests rather than for short-term gain." I wouldn't vote for a "give me a free pony" platform even though I want a pony.  Of course, if you believe whatever it is the Republicans are saying, you might believe that you *are* voting in your self interest.  Republicans have been very successful at selling the myth of unlimited social mobility.

I support confiscatory inheritance taxes and free education at every level based solely on academic ability and not ability to pay, as well as universal health care and a guaranteed minimum income.  All well to the left of Obama, I might add.  (And I'm sure I'm to the right of him on other issues.) But not because I think it's mostly in the interests of one class or another, but because I think it's what is in the interest of the country.  And I try to acknowledge that people who disagree with me might just do so because they think that their ideas are in the best interest of the country, not because they are evil or stupid.  Like Joe Biden says, question people's judgement, but don't be so quick to denigrate their motives.
I think the proper reply would be:
**raises roof**


Yes, hear hear.  Just to clarify, I wasn't trying to imply that people were stupid for voting against their own interests, but rather pointing out that it's a common occurrence on both sides of the spectrum, and that people shouldn't be blamed for it. I also think that  an attitude of anger and hatred from liberals toward working class conservative Republicans does nothing except divide Americans and create a general bitterness that we really don't need right now. I know we can't all hold hands right away, but we can at least try to be respectful of each other. To his credit, Obama does appear to be maintaining positivity at rallies.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christine-pelosi/we-dont-need-that---we-ne_b_136527.html

yesno

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Re: Humorless Politics Thread
« Reply #879 on: October 27, 2008, 03:54:56 PM »
That whole "poor Republicans are stupid because they vote against their own interests" angle is ridiculous.  I haven't read "What's the Matter with Kansas" so I don't know how nuanced Thomas Frank is, but I'd hope he is more sophisticated than claiming that unless you vote yourself more government entitlements, you're stupid. The same line of thinking would also say that rich people are supposed to vote against aid to the poor, otherwise they're stupid, because it's against their self interest.

This suggests the only thing Democrats offer poor people over Republicans is government entitlements. Which isn't the case at all.

I agree.  But now you need a really sophisticated argument to justify why your side is right and the other side is wrong.  And frankly, the intellectual firepower on both sides is really high.  When you've got Henry Hazlitt and Friedrich Hayek on one side (not to mention Edmund fucking Burke) you need to bring a little more to the table than, "What's a matter, you?  Don't you see that you're just wrong?  Isn't it obvious?"

As a matter of fact just thinking that one side is self-evidently correct and the other barely worthy of consideration is a symptom of ideology trumping rationality.  Republicans have argued for years that Democratic social programs have increased and worsened poverty.  They have charts and graphs and everything.  At least some of them really honestly believe it.  I think they're wrong, but it's more than just Republicans stupidly voting against their own interests because they're blinded by culture war non-issues.

How the hell to convey all this in the space of a thirty second political ad, I have no idea.

mike a

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Re: Humorless Politics Thread
« Reply #880 on: October 27, 2008, 03:55:15 PM »
I am a moderate.  I trend left on social issues, but also find the left naive on the issue of national defense and don't think either party offers much for the ailing economy.  I suppose I'd vote for a third party if one existed that was not populated by fringe types.  What this means is that, as Howard Devoto suggested decades ago, I'm going to get shot by both sides.

Still, Tom's parting comments really bugged me, and I usually don't mind his political humor.  It's a bit much to explicitly advise one's listeners to either vote Obama or don't vote at all.  If Obama's supposedly got the lead, why worry about the Republican vote if the Dem candidate is going to take it anyway?  If nothing else, having an opponent means you've got to try that much harder to put out a clear message.  Can you imagine the accusations of voter suppression if Irwin or someone said the same thing about McCain?

But I think everyone's a little nutty at this point.  It's been a tough campaign season.  It'll be nice to have the election over and done.

mike a

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Re: Humorless Politics Thread
« Reply #881 on: October 27, 2008, 03:59:11 PM »
How the hell to convey all this in the space of a thirty second political ad, I have no idea.

Well, yeah.  That's a symptom of a general dumbing down in politics.  Read speeches from 50 years ago and you're amazed how much smarter everyone sounds.

todd

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Re: Humorless Politics Thread
« Reply #882 on: October 27, 2008, 04:05:11 PM »
That whole "poor Republicans are stupid because they vote against their own interests" angle is ridiculous.  I haven't read "What's the Matter with Kansas" so I don't know how nuanced Thomas Frank is, but I'd hope he is more sophisticated than claiming that unless you vote yourself more government entitlements, you're stupid. The same line of thinking would also say that rich people are supposed to vote against aid to the poor, otherwise they're stupid, because it's against their self interest.

This suggests the only thing Democrats offer poor people over Republicans is government entitlements. Which isn't the case at all.

I agree.  But now you need a really sophisticated argument to justify why your side is right and the other side is wrong.  And frankly, the intellectual firepower on both sides is really high.  When you've got Henry Hazlitt and Friedrich Hayek on one side (not to mention Edmund fucking Burke) you need to bring a little more to the table than, "What's a matter, you?  Don't you see that you're just wrong?  Isn't it obvious?"

As a matter of fact just thinking that one side is self-evidently correct and the other barely worthy of consideration is a symptom of ideology trumping rationality.  Republicans have argued for years that Democratic social programs have increased and worsened poverty.  They have charts and graphs and everything.  At least some of them really honestly believe it.  I think they're wrong, but it's more than just Republicans stupidly voting against their own interests because they're blinded by culture war non-issues.

How the hell to convey all this in the space of a thirty second political ad, I have no idea.

I agree with you. But I think this year I'm allowed to be a little more strident. Anyone who says they think Palin is an acceptable Vice Presidential candidate is either stupid or intellectually dishonest, I think. She is truly dangerous and insulting. That has kind of pushed this election from a "disagreement among pals" to a "what the fuck is wrong with you?" situation.


Bryan

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Re: Humorless Politics Thread
« Reply #883 on: October 27, 2008, 04:10:08 PM »
I agree.  But now you need a really sophisticated argument to justify why your side is right and the other side is wrong.  And frankly, the intellectual firepower on both sides is really high.  When you've got Henry Hazlitt and Friedrich Hayek on one side (not to mention Edmund fucking Burke) you need to bring a little more to the table than, "What's a matter, you?  Don't you see that you're just wrong?  Isn't it obvious?"


Who are some impressive contemporary conservative intellectuals? Anytime I try to read or listen to contemporary conservative thought, it always seems nutty, dumb, mean-spirited or just like a big pack of lies. I know I'm a lefty, and some of my response is just my bias, but the big names that I'm aware of (Jonah Goldberg, David Horowitz, David Frum) are just awful.

Surely there are some better thinkers than that?

masterofsparks

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Re: Humorless Politics Thread
« Reply #884 on: October 27, 2008, 04:19:09 PM »
I agree.  But now you need a really sophisticated argument to justify why your side is right and the other side is wrong.  And frankly, the intellectual firepower on both sides is really high.  When you've got Henry Hazlitt and Friedrich Hayek on one side (not to mention Edmund fucking Burke) you need to bring a little more to the table than, "What's a matter, you?  Don't you see that you're just wrong?  Isn't it obvious?"


Who are some impressive contemporary conservative intellectuals? Anytime I try to read or listen to contemporary conservative thought, it always seems nutty, dumb, mean-spirited or just like a big pack of lies. I know I'm a lefty, and some of my response is just my bias, but the big names that I'm aware of (Jonah Goldberg, David Horowitz, David Frum) are just awful.

Surely there are some better thinkers than that?

I'm not super-familiar with his stuff, but I hear a lot of people mention George Will. He's a conservative but he's been heavily critical of both George W. Bush and McCain's choice of running mate.
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