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Species of Liberal


I just don’t understand some types of liberals. This is particularly true of the self-hating liberal who consistently believes that if we only ignored those naughty conservatives like Rush Limbaugh and find the many reasonable voices of the Right, we could bring the nation out of decline. That means we need to quit listening to nihilist voices like Jon Stewart and instead explore common ground with unnamed Republicans who do not actually exist.

Unfortunately, this species of liberalism is heaven sent for those who serve the Beltway and thus the Times published Steve Almond’s column with the actual title, “Liberals Are Ruining America. I Know Because I Am One.”

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  • c u n d gulag

    Ah, I love when another faux Liberal speaks for us!

    “You know who’s fault it is that the Conservatives are going crazy, and have a lock on talk radio, and have their own 24 propaganda channel posing as “news,” and has more Op-ed columnists than Centrists (real ones, not the faux ones like Brooks) and Liberals combined?

    It’s the fault of US Liberals- that’s who!

    If we paid no attention to the crazies – didn’t listen to them, didn’t watch them, didn’t read them, they’d be less crazy, I tell’s ya!

    What do you mean, “What Liberals listen, watch, and read them?”
    Why, I do!
    Don’t you?

    And what do you mean by asking, “How do I know, and why?” about if we watched them less, they’d be less crazy?

    Because… because… because SHUT UP! SHUT UP!! SHUT UP!!!
    THAT’S WHY!!!!!!

    And what do you mean, that if there wasn’t some pressure from Liberals groups after they DID learn of these outrages, and decided to take action, “That they’d be even CRAZIER?”

    That’s the problem with YOU Liberals!
    Too many questions, and NO answers!!!”

    Don’t speak for us Mr. Almond-no-joy.
    Especially when you know not what-of you speak.

  • The real problem is that liberals, both on an institutional and a personal level, have chosen to treat for-profit propaganda as news.

    And then those liberals vote for Rick Santorum! Darned liberals.

    • Or they vote against Santorum, but for the wrong reasons. Which is actually worse.

  • Tybalt

    “common ground with unnamed Republicans who do not actually exist”

    But, they do exist. They don’t exist in the media, but there are plenty of Republican voters who are entirely reasonable. I know many of them.

    You can’t seek common ground with them on TV, because there are none on TV and TV isn’t a place to make common ground anyway.

    • R Johnston

      Sorry, but no Republican voters are reasonable. At best they’re people who could be reasonable if they were informed but who choose willful ignorance and vote for a Republican party that’s been dead for at least 35 years and that even before that was never anywhere near as not crazy as they’d like to believe.

      There have been some times at the state and local level where voting for a Republican for an executive office was reasonable, but it has never, in the lifetime of anyone currently alive, been reasonable to vote for a Republican for any legislative position at any level. Even when the party tolerated people who weren’t completely crazy, the Republican party platform and legislative agenda has essentially always and everywhere been inhumane, xenophobic, and downright insane.

      • somethingblue

        And yet, oddly, I do not regret voting for Lowell Weicker over Joe Lieberman.

        (And if the rest of the state had followed my lead we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either!)

        • James E Powell

          Mais où sont les Weickers d’antan

          • wjts

            Après Chafee, le douche.

            • homunq


            • Joseph Slater

              Winnity, win, win, win!

            • joe from Lowell


        • Davis X. Machina

          Those are Republicans, from back before ‘Republican’ meant ‘republican’ meant “theocratic, divine-right (elected) monarchist”.

          And you thought the word ‘liberal’ had changed its meaning since John Stuart Mill’s day….

        • jefft452

          “And if the rest of the state had followed my lead we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either!”

          I wish I had
          Ive cast a lot of votes that Ive regretted
          But that was the only one that I am ashamed of

      • UserGoogol

        A definition of “reasonable” which excludes about half of the voting population seems too strict to be useful.

        • I think the anti-Nazi Germans had that same problem back in the 1930’s.

          • UserGoogol

            I’m not sure if you’re being sarcastic, but yes, that was a problem. If the appeal of Nazism had been limited to deranged lunatics, it would have been a flash in the pan. But Nazis were able to persuade mostly sensible people that Nazism was in their interests.

            The irrationality of an argument and the wrongness of its conclusion don’t necessarily line up. A small everyday fallacy can be blown up to catastrophic results if gets used in just the wrong way. In a sense people who suffer from such everyday fallacies are unreasonable, but everyone suffers from logical fallacies from time to time, so that’s not a very useful way of looking at it.

            • You may be over thinking it. People who think genocide is in their own interests are not reasonable.

              I don’t think there’s too much confusion on that score.

              • Ross Douthat cross pollinates both the ‘reasonableness’ of Republicans and the ‘reasonableness’ of Nazis into a single paragraph in the liberally biased NY Times:

                ‘I’m not saying the recent advances in science are going to turn us all into a bunch of Nazis. I’m just saying that recent advances in science are going to turn liberals into Nazis because, after all, they’re genetically hardwired that way.’

                I’m not waiting on suggestions on how to engage one of the Republican ‘thought leaders’ constructively on this.

                Half the country has lost their minds, we just have to deal with the consequences. When the two year craps in their diaper and uses a crayon on the wall, you just deal with it.

                Change the diaper, clean the wall, put the crayons out of reach. Nothing else really has to happen, besides being kind, smiling, and saying some encouraging words like, ‘We’ll go see a moo-moo later.’

                • The actual quote is:

                  “Thanks to examples like Irving Fisher, we know what the elites of a bygone era would have done with that kind of information: they would have empowered the state (and the medical establishment) to determine which fetal lives should be carried to term, and which should be culled for the good of the population as a whole.

                  That scenario is all but unimaginable in today’s political climate. But given our society’s track record with prenatal testing for Down syndrome, we also have a pretty good idea of what individuals and couples will do with comprehensive information about their unborn child’s potential prospects. In 90 percent of cases, a positive test for Down syndrome leads to an abortion. It is hard to imagine that more expansive knowledge won’t lead to similar forms of prenatal selection on an ever-more-significant scale.

                  Is this sort of “liberal eugenics,” in which the agents of reproductive selection are parents rather than the state, entirely different from the eugenics of Fisher’s era, which forced sterilization on unwilling men and women? Like so many of our debates about reproductive ethics, that question hinges on what one thinks about the moral status of the fetus.”

                • “But these same eugenicists were often political and social liberals — advocates of social reform, partisans of science, critics of stasis and reaction. “They weren’t sinister characters out of some darkly lighted noir film about Nazi sympathizers,” Conniff writes of Fisher and his peers, “but environmentalists, peace activists, fitness buffs, healthy-living enthusiasts, inventors and family men.” From Teddy Roosevelt to the Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, fears about “race suicide” and “human weeds” were common among self-conscious progressives, who saw the quest for a better gene pool as of a piece with their broader dream of human advancement.”

                  Jonah Goldberg never captured it better.

              • DocAmazing

                People who think genocide is in their own interests are not reasonable.

                How quickly we forget the fate of the American Indians.

              • Stitch

                People who think genocide is in their own interests are not reasonable.

                How about union-busting?

              • joe from Lowell

                People who think genocide is in their own interests are not reasonable.

                The Nazis most emphatically did not campaign on genocide. They actually kept their genocide secret throughout their reign, as best they could. It wasn’t until years after they ended electoral democracy in Germany that they began to implement genocide.

                Sure, they were racist as hell in their electoral campaigns, but there were many right-wing parties that preached racism in Europe during that period that weren’t genocidal.

      • efgoldman

        …but it has never, in the lifetime of anyone currently alive, been reasonable to vote for a Republican for any legislative position at any level.

        I’m 67.
        In my lifetime I voted quite happily for Republicans named Saltonstall, Volpe, Brooke, and Sargent. Had I lived in their states, i could easily have voted for Lowell Weicker or Jacob Javits or many others.
        The history of the post-Saint-Ronaldus-Magnus is quite evil enough as it is. You don’t have to insult the memories of some really good people.

        • DrDick

          I am only 60, but there have been sane and reasonable Republicans (none that I would vote for, however) in my lifetime. They pretty well vanish after 1980.

          • BigHank53

            I actually voted for Warren Rudman–his last Democratic challenger had the IQ of floor sweepings, and the third-party guy was several sandwiches short of a picnic.

            • DrDick

              I was still living in Oklahoma when the “Reasonable Republicans” went extinct. Before the state shifted Red, Oklahoma Republicans made the current crop there seem sane and rational.

      • DrDick


        There are also the Republicans who, while batshit crazy and utterly loathsome in their views, clean up nicely and put on a good front, with some modicum of civility.

    • Murc

      But, they do exist. They don’t exist in the media, but there are plenty of Republican voters who are entirely reasonable.

      So what?

      I mean that. So. What? I know plenty of Republican voters who are entirely reasonable as well. (Many of them are ignorant, but that’s a different thing.)

      And they’re completely irrelevant, because none of them are policy makers or opinion makers. It’s entirely possible for a Democratic elected official to find common ground with these people on at least some issues, but that common ground won’t translate into actual policy because reasonable Republican voters do not make policy; crazy Republican politicians do.

      • joe from Lowell

        Right-wingers on the internet love nut-picking. Hey, look, I found a progressive on a comment thread who said something nuts! Stop the presses!

        Meanwhile, liberals do exactly the opposite. Hey, check it out, this guy is a registered Republican, and he totally doesn’t think hurricanes are God’s punishment for estate taxes!

  • Dave

    I take it that when Erik says ‘liberal’, he means some kind of actual conservative; whereas when a Republican says ‘liberal’, s/he means a communist?

  • DocAmazing

    “Ignore them and they’ll go away” doesn’t work very well with muggers.

    • j_h_r

      DOCAMZNG has reached LEVEL 14

      +2 STR

      +3 INT

      +2 AGI

      +3 STA

      +2 RES

      +2 MIN

      +15 HP

      +10 MP

      DOCAMZNG has received MASTER SWORD

      KEEP? Y/N

      • DocAmazing

        ?useful against muggers

  • jeer9

    While I suppose a certain type of critic might call Stewart “nihilist,” his show is mostly parody of our political figures and absurd extensions of their rhetorical positions. Stewart’s own view is much closer to the self-hating one, that there exists a reasonable center around which both parties can form and we should be able to come together to solve the nation’s problems. His rally in DC pushed that very idea.

    It’s pretty self-delusional and is of a piece with the civility he shows toward Republican criminals who use his program to promote their books and spread their lies. Of course, as has been noted elsewhere, it’s a pathetic and sad commentary on our media that a comedian’s interview on a cable network seems the one place where tough questions might get asked and cocktail party arrogance confronted.

    • Murc


      Stewart is very much of the “both sides do it” school of thought, and he really seems to believe in the whole “the only thing preventing us from adopting common-sense solutions to our problem is that neither side is interested in solving them because its politically scaaaaaaaary” formulation.

      This has been apparent ever since the Rally to Restory Sanity/Bring Back Fear (his speech there was jaw-droppingly ignorant in its understanding of how policy and politics actually work) and if you watch his recent interview with Ornstein and Mann you will see him constantly trying to tell them that they’re wrong.

      • Truer comments were never commented

      • mpowell

        It was depressing to realize that Jon Stewart has no idea what is actually going on in Washington, but that’s when you remember that he’s actually a comedian. Fortunately, I don’t think he’s actually doing too much damage by giving people the wrong idea. If you talk to most people, they don’t get this impression at all from Stewart. So there’s that. But yeah, Colbert’s show is much better for political impact.

      • I keep seeing people argue that Stewart’s of the “both sides do it” school of thought, but every time I see a Daily Show segment where he’s saying that, the point has been that people who seriously make that argument are drawing a false equivalency because the conservative position is always far more extreme and unreasonable than the liberal one.

        • Murc

          Stewart isn’t a member of the “both sides do it” school of thought in that he thinks sitting Republican Senators spewing racist hate from the well of the Senate is precisely equivalent to weird fringe leftists without influence claiming that Bush was worse than Hitler.

          He is in the sense that he thinks both parties refuse to engage with the other for purely political reasons rather than because of genuine ideological cleavage.

          • Cody

            Maybe we’ve underestimated his understanding, and he’s just demonstrating that Republican Senators basically have the same job as him.

            He just realizes we’re paying them for good entertainment. The only difference is Jon Stewart’s entertainment is much better, only lasts 30 minutes, and doesn’t effect my pocket book.

            The Senator I’m paying though, his entertainment he’s offering is watching the collapse of America into a feudal system where I’ll wear my engineering degree on my chest to gain entry into nice restaurants (don’t want the common rabble in there).

  • Davis

    As I remember, we tried ignoring Rush Limbaugh (I did) for quite a while. Didn’t work. He far bigger now. His ratings may have gone up, but he also lost a lot of advertisers.

    • Sal Hepatica

      The problem with Limbaugh is that he’s considered just part of the background noise by most folks who don’t have strong feelings one way or another about the majority of issues. I have a guy I see who checks the machine that treats my sleep apnea, smart, reasonable guy, and in the past I saw him near the end of the work day and he had music on the radio. Last week I had to see him on my lunch break and the radio had on Limbaugh. But even if he’s only background noise, there are moments when his idiocy breaks through and the listener adopts his twisted viewpoint. And you can’t argue with these folks on the grounds that they listen to deliberately ginned-up bullshit, because not surprisingly they find such an argument condescending.

    • j_h_r

      ” He far bigger now”

      hur hur hur…

      • Davis

        OK, I should check before submitting. Didn’t mean to sound like Tarzan.

    • We could afford to ignore Rush Limbaugh if all those Limbaugh apologizing fools in the Republican party could afford, or even wanted, to ignore him.

      Limbaugh is the Keeper of the Kat- a- Kism. He defines the dogma and he sets the limits of what compromises can be made by elected Republicans – see apologies to Limbaugh on the Google if you think otherwise.

      Grover Norquist is the Keeper of the Tax Kat-a-Kism and ignore his stands on acceptable tax compromises consistent with his pledge at your peril. Ask George HW Bush.

      Thinking you can reach Republicans with compromises without discrediting Limbaugh or Norquist is not only wrong, it’s stupid and ultimately wasteful of a lot of people’s time and money.

  • 2liberal

    the issue with the almond type statements is that it is a good career move towards getting paid for blogging.

  • DrDick

    What reasonable voices of the Right?
    That species went extinct during the Bush I administration and had been vanishing since Reagan.

    • greylocks

      All “reasonable” means is you’re pro-choice and haven’t drunk the birther Kool-Aid.

      • Holden Pattern

        Really, just the latter. You can’t be a pro-choice Republican.

    • joe from Lowell

      What reasonable voices of the Right?

      Google “Republican incumbent primary defeat,” and you’ll find a few.

  • Moron if believes this stuff. Excellent career move if he doesn’t.

  • homunq

    As liberals, don’t we run the Times? Shouldn’t we fire this guy?

    • Customer Service Dept. Liberal Media, LLC.

      We are still awaiting our orders from Soros. Be patient.

  • thebewilderness

    Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for the quotation:

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

    • DocAmazing

      That’s the pre-Jonah version.

      • Bill Murray

        The Post-Jonah version

        I first lied about the Socialists, and they did not speak out–
        Because Rush Limbaugh had already lied about the Socialists.

        I next lied about the Trade Unionists, and they did not speak out–
        Because they did not know me or what a trade Union is.

        Then I came for the liberals, and they did not speak out–
        Because they were looking for a Republican to work with.

        Then there was no one left to speak to and I no longer needed to blog-source my research to make-up stuff for a book, so yeah me.

    • gocart mozart

      Actually, communist first.

  • Pingback: The Mahablog » Ignoring Teh Crazy()

  • wr

    I just spent a couple of days with Steve Almond — before this piece came out, so I couldn’t ask him about it — and he’s not an “idiot” and he’s not auditioning for some right wing media position. I think he’s wrong on this, but he’s a great writer and an insanely generous human being. It’s a pity that everyone who steps outside our complete belief system has to be completely worthless…

    • I’m not sure anyone is saying (or at least I am not saying it) Almond is completely worthless. But he is shockingly wrong here and this narrative hurts the Democratic Party. Frankly, I don’t care how nice or generous he is to people around him.

      • somethingblue

        I’m not sure anyone is saying (or at least I am not saying it) Almond is completely worthless.

        Well, let me say it. Then Erik can occupy the sensible center.

        (And you know who ELSE was an insanely generous human being?)

        • It’s always been my dream to be a sensible centrist.

          • bexley

            Aim higher and go for well-paid sensible centrist. Have you considered growing a porntache to improve the odds?

    • Murc

      This is the line people have been using to defend hacks forever. “Well, if you knew them PERSONALLY, you’d know what a wonderful human being they are.”

      It’s one of the primary things wrong with the Village. I could give a damn if Steve Almond helps little old ladies across the street. I care about his effect on, you know, the body politic.

      • j_h_r

        I’ve noticied a type of this on the Daily Show. Case in point: Bill Kristol is genial, obviously quick-witted, and a good conversationalist, and he and Stewart genuinely seem to enjoy each other’s company. If I didn’t already know that BK is apparently some sort of high-functioning sociopath who regularly calls for genocide-level extermination of many of the peoples currently living in the Middle East, his appearances on TDS might actually make me a fan.

      • Frankly, if someone is this kind of mendacious fool in one context, I’m generally betting that they suck in other contexts as well. Regardless, my overall feelings toward such a person is going to be pretty heavily weighted by the nasty. Esp. as the nasty is the major part of my interaction with this guy.

        I mean, does anyone think it’s relevant that your boss is really great to their golf buddies if they are really horrible to you? That your physician is a loving parent if they fuck up your treatment? That your employee is a witty, thoughtful, and effective commenter on some random blog if that means they don’t get their grading done on time?

        It’s absurd.

      • wr

        Steve Almond? In the village?

        You have absolutely no clue who you’re talking about, do you?

        It’s barely worth mentioning that he quit his position teaching creative writing at BU because they invited Condoleeza Rice as a commencement speaker.

        It’s more to the point that he writes personal essays and stories. He’s not part of the political community in any way.

        But of course, anyone who doesn’t share your views on every point must be having cocktails with Tom Friedman.

    • thebewilderness

      Clearly he is not “a great writer” if he is serving up this warmed over crap that was pure foolishness when it was trotted out in kindergarten and has remained pure foolishness since.

    • DocAmazing

      Steve Almond is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful etc. etc.

      • Frank Pistachio

        He makes me want to be a better nut.

    • John

      Odds that “wr” is actually Steve Almond?

      • j_h_r

        nah, but maybe his boyfriend/girlfriend

      • wr

        My God, but you’re a putz. I think Steve Almond is a pretty great guy and my students worship him. But it’s inconceivable to you that anyone could stand up for the guy — not even his column, which I said I disagreed with — so I must be a sock puppet.

        Because there can’t be a single person in the world who can honestly disagree with anything you believe.

        You should be writing for Red State.

    • Holden Pattern

      Holy Christ, Mary Rosh has risen!

    • You’ll have to admit, it’s an insanely non-clutch performance on his part.

  • The real solution is to ignore those naughty self-hating liberals!

    • bexley

      That way we can make common ground with the reasonable self-hating liberals.

  • Christopher

    So, here’s my issue: Almond’s definition of “reasonable republican” seems to encompass literally everybody in the country who identifies as a Republican, whether they’re in a position of power or not.

    Basically, his (in my opinion very wrong) idea seems to be that responses to right-wing imbeciles are made less to convert their listeners/viewers, and more as a way for liberal pundits to feel morally superior to Rushbo and Palin.

    Instead of doing that, we should ignore Rush et al, and eventually they’ll go away. Meanwhile, liberal pundits will be speaking straight to The People, reaching out an embracing our common humanity, and thus convincing the proles to side with us more often.

    Or at least, that’s how I read it.

    Now, I think this position is incoherent and wrong on a number of different levels, but if your main objection is that “there are no reasonable Republicans anywhere in the country” then you’re basically asserting that roughly half the nation is made up of implacable idiots who can never be convinced of anything.

    That figure’s probably low, but if that’s your opinion, then:

    1. How can you justify democracy? Isn’t it basically doomed to failure, with half the citizens unshakably dedicated to idiocy?

    2. Why do you care what Almond says? The people he’s talking about are unreachable, so I’m not sure what purpose political discourse is supposed to serve.

    • Murc

      you’re basically asserting that roughly half the nation is made up of implacable idiots who can never be convinced of anything.

      That figure’s probably low, but if that’s your opinion, then: How can you justify democracy

      I don’t. Democracy is the worst form of government that’s ever been tried.

      Except, of course, for all the others.

      Huh. I guess I just justified it after all.

    • DocAmazing

      Propaganda works. Counterpropaganda is the weapon you use against propaganda; truth is important, but Job One is to counter the propaganda, then get the truth back into the mix.

      Pretending that propagandists can be countered by neat punctuation and clear diction in the NPR mold is not at all productive.

      • gocart mozart

        Why is it that Republicans get to claim they are the party of God and Jesus, but it’s the Democrats who must “love their enemy” and “turn the other cheek?”

      • Christopher

        I pretty much agree with you and this is my reaction too.

        But, you know, the idea that counterpropaganda can work is sort of dependent on the idea that we can reach somebody with an argument (or something not unlike an argument), somebody who used to be against us, but upon hearing the proper propaganda will go “Oh wait.”

        In other words, the mythical reasonable republican.

        If we’re going to kvetch about Steve Almond, we should at least get his argument right.

        • DocAmazing

          I’m not looking for “oh, wait” as a response; I’m looking for “eeew” or hilarity or something else non-intellectual. The Right gets it: ideas happen second, if at all; opinions are formed mostly from visceral reactions. We really need to stop being squeamish about going after the public’s gut. It’s not the best part of them, but it’s the part that gets engaged first.

    • if your main objection is that “there are no reasonable Republicans anywhere in the country” then you’re basically asserting that roughly half the nation is made up of implacable idiots who can never be convinced of anything.

      Pretty much.

  • bgn

    …half the citizens unshakably dedicated to idiocy?

    Not necessarily. As we all know, not everybody votes. As I see it, there are a lot of political junkies addicted to right-wing outrage–oh, say, 26% of the population–and they scare everybody else off politics.

    • Dirk Gently

      27%. Scientific fact which is repeatable.

  • bloix

    One of the things that the theory of evolution teaches us is that if an ecological niche opens that can supply enough to maintain life, a species will evolve to fit that niche.

    Another thing it teaches us is that it’s very easy for one species to mimic the external characterics of another.

  • SpiderBat

    The top comment on the NYT article speaks volumes

    As a conservative, I see this as story of the transition between two of the prevalent flavors of liberal self-indulgence; from sanctimonious ranter to navel-gazing solipsist. There is no hope of dialog with this person — no chance, say, of discussing the limitations of a minimal government philosophy versus the dangers of an overweening state — because he hasn’t opened his mind to the possibility that the conservatives he so abhors — yes, even Limbaugh and Hannity — might have something to say to him. The one thing he doesn’t consider is engaging conservatives.

    The prospects for finding common ground doesn’t look any better from our side of the fence, folks!

    • fasteddie9318

      Yes, goodness knows I have a difficult time being open-minded about finding common ground with people who’ve repeatedly labelled me and anybody like me “hell-bound traitors.” Clearly the failure here is mine.

    • Cody

      Is it bad that when I imagined a reasonable Republican, this is the response I would picture him typing?

  • Steve S.

    That means we need to quit listening to nihilist voices like Jon Stewart

    Not sure what you’re getting at here. Jon Stewart is a leading spokesperson for making nice with “reasonable” centrists and conservatives. I assume you saw that Rally to Restore Sanity thing.

    and instead explore common ground with unnamed Republicans who do not actually exist.

    Except that they do, or did, they have such names as Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman, Arlen Specter, Olympia Snowe, and so on, and they set the limits of the Obama 2009-2011 legislative agenda. Possibly they won’t exist after this next election. Oh well.

    • Murc

      How is Olympia Snowe reasonable?

      As far as I know, she’s anti-choice, anti-stimulus, anti-civil liberties, anti-civil rights, pro-war, and voted against a Republican-written health care bill.

      Her legislative record is one of someone who has no interest in compromising or finding middle ground, because when that middle ground is presented to her she refused to vote for it.

      • fasteddie9318

        For that matter, what makes Ben Nelson (a “Democrat” who somehow makes the list of “reasonable Republicans”) reasonable? Anti-choice, anti-gay rights, mixed on civil rights for blacks, anti-environment, 86% rating from the US Chamber. He’s OK on gun control, and, um, he voted for the stimulus, so he’s got that going for him. Which is nice.

        Also too, FFS, the only principle that Lieberman has articulated since he lost the primary to Lamont has been “If Anthony Weiner is fer it, I’m agin’ it.” What’s “reasonable” about a guy who rejects policy he previously indicated he liked, because he found out that some nominal liberals like it too?

      • John

        She’s certainly pro-choice, she voted for the stimulus, and while the PPACA may have certain elements that are loosely based on Republican ideas, it’s obvious nonsense to say it is a “Republican-written health care plan.” I don’t really know anything about her position on civil rights, but then I suspect you don’t either.

        Which isn’t to say that I at all care for Olympia Snowe – she’s pretty bad. But you’re seriously stacking the deck here.

        • Murc

          You’ve got me on the stimulus. Fair enough. But aside from that…

          She’s certainly pro-choice,

          Anyone who voted for any of Bush’s Supreme Court nominees isn’t pro-choice. Period. Snowe voted to put people who will certainly overturn Roe the second they get a chance on the court. This makes her anti-choice.

          And I know for damn certain what her position on civil rights is. She voted for the Patriot Act, she voted to re-authorize it, she’s on the record as being in favor of indefinite detention and warrantless wiretapping, and she voted against ending the legal black hole that’s Gitmo.

          while the PPACA may have certain elements that are loosely based on Republican ideas, it’s obvious nonsense to say it is a “Republican-written health care plan.”

          In the sense that Republicans literally sat down and wrote it, its a bit of a stretch.

          In the sense that its basically every single shitty half-assed Republican proposal for health care reform from the past two decades rolled into one package, it is clearly a Republican-formulated plan. It’s based on friggin’ Romneycare.

          (And yes, I am aware that we couldn’t have gotten anything better without a different Congress and that the ACA is better than the status quo. Both those facts are staggering indictments of both the Congress and our national healthcare system.)

          But I’ve gotten off-topic. The ACA was a conservative piece of legislation designed specifically to find common ground with reasonable Republicans and Snowe turned it down flat. This by definition doesn’t make her reasonable.

          • Steve S.

            Snowe et al are not “reasonable” to me personally, the point is that a narrow axis of the “moderate” Dems and “moderate” Republicans defined what was possible from ’09-’11. There are other problematic points in the column, but it seems odd to me that Almond should also be excoriated for essentially endorsing the Obama playbook of that period.

    • Me thinks you may be missing the point.

      • Steve S.

        Well, mine is this; write down a list of the legislative accomplishments of the 111th Congress. Do you consider it a good list, something to be proud of? If so, I’ll just repeat that its limits were defined by Lieberman, an independent who campaigned for McCain, Specter, who was a Republican at the start of the 111th, and the like. Not sure if this makes Obama a “self-hating liberal” or not.

  • Now some, not Eli to be sure, maybe Roger Pielke Jr., he is a political scientist after all, may think this is the start of the pushback against Mann and Orenstein.

  • Well, I think we’re all dumber for having read that.

    Ignoring the haters worked great with the Swiftboaters. We ignored them and PROBLEM SOLVED!

  • And, yes, Jon Stewart is totally a bothsidesdoiter. Just when I think I he’s gotten it, he resorts to that shit and it makes me want to reach through the tv screen and strangle him.

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