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Not So Fast, Erik!


Yes, Scott Adams’s argument from the alleged left on behalf of Romney is risible. But that’s just one idiotic argument. Given his ability to string together a large number of similarly dumb arguments, I think I have to give the award to Mr. Buzz Bissinger. I especially treasure the argument that the stimulus was too small — so you should vote to put the party who mostly opposed the stimulus entirely into the White House. Needless to say, Bissinger also thinks that Romney’s willingness to sign the occasional bill put on his desk by huge supermajorities of Massachusetts Democrats (amidst 800 vetoes) means that he won’t really by a conservative president. Oh, and we need to restore the culture of “individual responsibility” by increasing taxes and cutting benefits for poor people so that people who, say, get $260 million for destroying the market value of their companies can get a big tax cut.

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  • Semanticleo

    Yes. It’s absurd to think Romney would be better on ANT issue, much less this one-issue voter thinks. But the HP makes the point;

    Adams’ initial argument — that the Obama administration crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries operating in full compliance with state law violates the president’s campaign promises — is well taken. In an interview with Rolling Stone back in February, Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, went so far as to call Obama “the worst president on medical marijuana,” with more than 170 aggressive SWAT-style raids.

    I think this is to deflect away from Obama’s past drug use. But, now that we know the bullshit about ‘can’t be no angry black man’ went away after the last debate. So maybe this issue is a canard, as well

  • Semanticleo

    ANY issue….

    • Formicidae for Obama!

      • Hogan

        Now he’s got the all-important Edward O. Wilson endorsement locked up.

    • rkd

      Romney would help our new ant overlords organize the sugar mines

      • Semanticleo

        Did I stumble into Balloon juice? Nevermind…

  • DrDick

    restore the culture of “individual responsibility”

    Personal responsibility and accountability are for the little people. The predatory elites get to do whatever the fuck they want.

  • howard

    scott, admittedly, it’s a fine point, but the critique of pandit isn’t that he destroyed value: he didn’t build the crazy oversized structure, sandy weill and chuck prince did, and when the banks went down, citigroup went with them and pandit happened to be there at the moment.

    the critique of pandit is that he was paid $260M without adding any value after the collapse: you or i could have done as good a job, and while i don’t know about you, i would have done it for half pandit’s price!

    • Michael H Schneider

      … i would have done it for half pandit’s price!

      That’s why we need to organize labor. Once we get workers bidding against each other to see who will do the job for the lowest pay, we will end up with some poor Black single mother running Citi for a lousy $5 million a year. Nobody can raise a child properly on that sort of wage.

  • david mizner

    It wasn’t even from the “alleged” left (however you define it.) Adams isn’t a liberal, self-described or otherwise. Nor for that matter is Bissinger (a self-described centrist who’s voted Republican before.) Nor for that matter is Conor Friedersdorf, a libertarian centrist.

    There are no doubt genuine lefties who aren’t voting for Obama, but these three don’t qualify.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Right, but while these guys aren’t leftist, they’re making arguments against Obama from the left. Fortunately, only Friedersdorf’s seem to be taken seriously by actual left-wingers, although they’re exactly as illogical as those of Bissinger and Adams.

      • david mizner

        Buzz coming at him both from the left and Broder-wille. He wanted to Obama to do more about poverty and Wall Street fraud and seems to think he could have accomplished these things by being better at reaching across the aisle.

        • mark f


          The world’s least intimidating breed of canine.

        • commie atheist

          He also approvingly quotes Cornell West calling Obama “a black mascot of Wall Street Oligarchs” but wants Obama to stop “demonizing millionaires and billionaires.” He faults Obama for not helping the poor but is willing to vote in a Republican (running with Granny-starver Paul Ryan) as president. To say he all over the fucking place would be an insult to schizophrenics.

      • John

        Isn’t the difference that Bissinger and Adams are advocating voting for Romney, while Friedersdorf is advocating making a protest vote for a third party candidate?

        • Leeeee

          Yeah so Friersdorf at least makes somewhat more sense although the end result is mostly the same

          • mark f

            Yesterday Friedersdorf and Glenn Greenwald were congratulating each other’s ability to pretend that the binder tumblr constituted a left equivalent of, I don’t know, Michelle Malkin flipping a shit over a Rachel Ray scarf in a donut commercial. Then they congratulated each other for being so serious and nonpartisan. Write him off; he’s a bore anyway.

            • People like them – people for whom a sense of superiority to those dreaded partisans – work themselves into a closed conceptual loop.

              They start from the legitimate premise that partisan favoritism is a source of bias, but then draw the conclusion that pox-on-both-houses neutrality is therefore an antidote to bias. They end up believing that adherence to their particular partisan narrative – both sides are the same – is a way of ensurig that you aren’t giving in to confirmation bias.

        • Scott Lemieux

          Friedersdorf gets no extra credit in my book for merely advocating the indirect support of Romney.

          • John

            Sure, but I think that’s the reason their arguments have been treated differently.

      • Right, but while these guys aren’t leftist, they’re making arguments against Obama from the left.

        Let us not forget the recent discovery of TDK421.

        Peeling off support from Obama’s left by making left-wing arguments the critic does not actually believe is clearly a wide-spread and deliberate strategy from people working to elect Romney.

  • Alan in SF

    Nothing Scott Adams does is from the left. Scott is a Republicanish libertarian and always has been.

    • I personally think, having read some of his bloviations, that in reality he is just a wanker…

    • NonyNony

      From what I’ve seen of him Adams is just a moron. On just about any opinion he has – political or not – he’s ill-informed, quick to come to judgment, refuses to admit when he’s got a fact wrong, and generally clueless.

      I mean yeah, that sounds like a Republican. But just because Republicans have those traits that doesn’t mean that only Republicans have those traits. Garden variety morons have those traits too. And I think Adams is pretty much a garden variety moron, or at least his online persona is.

      • swearyanthony

        Pretty certain Adams is a climate denial freak as well. It has been a long long time since Dilbert was funny, or even relevant.

    • Offsides

      A lot of his anti-mgmt stuff was great, but his peak period was from about 1994 until being laid off from PacBell shortly after that. The early stuff was just awful and the later stuff was that of a long-ago cubical dweller remembering the distant past.

      I think what’s happening here is probably that he really prizes his supposed “independent thinker” reputation.

      This started when he was shocked into discovering the right wing wurlitzer when he made a couple of statements ridiculing the right wing charges at Clinton during the impeachment shit. One of my favorite observations of his at that time was about a common GOP statement: that if a CEO had done that he’d be fired. Adams really had at that. I can’t recall the exact words but something like: “Well, on the planet I live on, Earth, CEOs regularly diddle their young female staff and in the rare event that this causes problems they have staffs of company-paid lawyers to deal with them.”

      But then a few years later he got equally rammed from the left for some anti-female statements that probably sounded to him rational but which were disturbingly close to a Rush Limbaugh feminazi diatribe.

      So, he is left with clinging to the self-image of being an independent hit by both sides. But voting for Romney because he thinks he’ll be more libertarian is as stupid as his pointy-haired boss on a bad day.

  • CaptBackslap

    I’m assuming that Buzz just asked Tony LaRussa who to vote for.

  • Cody

    I assume Buzz “had to go” because he ran out of topics to change to.

    If he didn’t realize every single one of his points was made obviously stupid by the response, then he is probably far beyond saving.

    Also, I think they left off his last minute reply:

    Buzz: I just want sum up my point one more time! It’s clear that Obama won’t compromise because of his centrist governing style, so I’m going to vote for Romney who will obviously govern as a centrist as clearly demonstrated by his campaign rhetoric because you can’t believe a word he is saying; therefore, you know he is really going to govern as a compassionate centrist who will work across the aisle much better than Obama. Really, how could Obama not help poor people at all!? I really have faith Romney’s budget of taking away all of their benefits will help them more, because he obviously won’t go through with it and will compromise with the Republicans to make it more Progressive than his original plan!

    • Is Jamelle serving some of his famous cookies?

      We gonna sit around the kitchen fix us somethin’ good to eat,

      And make ourselves a little high and make the whole day complete,

      ‘Cuz we gonna lay around the shanty mama and put a good buzz on.

  • Gus

    So it sounds like Bissinger’s argument is “Mitt’s lying about being a right wing nut, so I’m voting for him.”

  • scott

    Voting for the fascist because you find the administration too accommodating to fascists makes little sense.

  • liberal

    Hope no one forgets the whole creationist episode

    • swearyanthony

      Ah I had indeed forgotten that. A-grade prime cut lunatic. Am resisting the temptation to check if Adams has ever written on the perils of fluoridation…

  • brad

    It’s all just high(er) level trolling. I don’t give Bissinger or Adams credit enough to think they even believe any of this crap. They want attention, so they’re taking positions they know people will attack them for.
    Next up, Murray Chass writes a long piece about how Nate Silver’s projections have forced him to support Romney.

  • Leeeee

    I don’t see how Bissinger can make the arguments he’s making and not realize he’s totally stupid

  • jre

    God, Scott Adams is a ninny.

    I assume the President – who has a well-documented history of extensive marijuana use in his youth – is clamping down on California dispensaries for political reasons, i.e. to get reelected. What other reason could there be?


    Romney is likely to continue the same drug policies as the Obama administration. But he’s enough of a chameleon and a pragmatist that one can’t be sure. And I’m fairly certain he’d want a second term.

    Pass me some of that doob, bro. It’s gotta be some good shit.

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