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The “Romney is to the Left of Obama” Genre of Endorsement Just Reached a New Low

[ 200 ] October 18, 2012 |

I present you Dilbert creator Scott Adams endorsing Mitt Romney–because he believes Romney will be less harsh in prosecuting marijuana usage than Obama.

This gets at the inanity of the civil libertarian arguments throughout much of this election. It’s not that Obama has been good on civil liberties–he has not. He’s been terrible on marijuana legalization, overriding state desires for decriminalization. Personally, I believe that’s because Obama flat out doesn’t care about this issue and thus is letting federal law enforcement do whatever it wants. But whatever, Obama has been bad, as he has been on any number of civil libertarian issues.

However, the idea that Mitt Romney is going to be better than Obama on any one of these issues–drug war, Guantanamo detainees, Patriot Act stuff, drones, spying on citizens, etc., is completely absurd and to say otherwise makes civil libertarians look like complete morons that shouldn’t be taken seriously. Sounds like Dilbert needs to put down the bong and actually learn something about Mitt Romney.

Again, we need a tougher, smarter left, whether on its economic or civil wing. Saying things like Romney wouldn’t prosecute the drug war is an embarrassment.

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  1. No joke–I’m sitting about 100 feet away from Scott Adams’s former cubicle. Not a dopey libertarian yet though, so far as I can tell.

  2. SP says:

    I seem to recall that he has been an instadipnut style wanker in the past but I’m too lazy to go look for links.

    • Sean Peters says:

      The man (Adams) is kind of a dumbass. I actually got into an e-mail exchange with him some years ago on the topic of a cartoon he posted that had to do with supply/demand for oil vs. its price. In the comic, Dogbert was ridiculing another character over the fact that the other character was limiting his gasoline purchases to cut into the revenue stream of Saudi oil barons. Because, you know, “the oil barons would just jack up the price to make up for the loss of revenue”. I wrote Adams a nice e-mail to say that while I enjoyed his comics, this was not exactly how the law of supply and demand worked: presumably, if the Saudi princes could command a higher price for their oil, presumably they’d already be charging it. His very curt response was to the effect that they owned so much oil they could just charge whatever they wanted, and I must not be too smart if I didn’t understand that. I determined that explaining concepts such as “market power” and “price elasticity of demand” to a man who supposedly possesses a degree in economics was not a productive use of my time, and didn’t bother answering. But still, geez.

      But we’re talking about a guy who also was burned for using sock puppets to defend himself in internet forums, was caught up in some egregious misogyny controversy, etc, etc. I don’t really expect much from him, even though he still does do a good job of skewering US office culture.

  3. Bijan Parsia says:

    This is probably just cover. Voting for Romney is obviously disgusting for a lot of obvious reasons and some people feel the need to cover for it. So they give really stupid reasons. Why they don’t just shut up…I don’t know.

  4. bill says:

    Scott Adams is no stranger to remarkable stupid opinions. These comments aren’t even on the same level as his feelings about women.

    “The reality is that women are treated differently by society for exactly the same reason that children and the mentally handicapped are treated differently. It’s just easier this way for everyone. You don’t argue with a four-year old about why he shouldn’t eat candy for dinner. You don’t punch a mentally handicapped guy even if he punches you first. And you don’t argue when a women tells you she’s only making 80 cents to your dollar. It’s the path of least resistance. You save your energy for more important battles.”

    And who could forget “pegs and holes.”

  5. Morbo says:

    Again, we need a tougher, smarter left, whether on its economic or civil wing.

    Is there some evidence I’m unaware of that Scott Adams is a “left, lowercase ‘L’ libertarian” as opposed to the capital “L” variety?

  6. greylocks says:

    This is as dumb as professional poker players who think Republicans are more likely to legalize online poker, despite the fact that the ratio of Dem-to-Rep sponsors of Barney Frank’s bill was 50-to-1.

    I think we just have a bunch of self-involved white guys who think their testicles will shrivel up if they admit to being liberals, so they look for excuses to keep voting Republican because it’s more manly or something. (Sadly, my own brother is the poster boy for this type.)

    • rea says:

      professional poker players who think Republicans are more likely to legalize online poker

      A casino magnate has bankrolled the Republican campaign, and some people think Romney will lealize online poker? Are they out of their effing minds?

      • greylocks says:

        I can’t explain their irrational hatred of liberalism any more than I can explain why any woman, LGBT, or person of color would ever vote for a Republican.

      • DrDick says:

        Why yes, yes they are, as is anyone who is not a millionaire and votes for Romney.

        • Manju says:

          Millionaire’s who vote Romney aren’t out of their mind? Because defaulting on the national debt or expanding Medicare by borrowing money is sane?

          Larry Bartels and others have argued that there have been times in American history when folks clearly voted values over economics.

          But the folks in question were the rich, not poor. One of these days, I’ll post that data.

          • njorl says:

            There is no chance the US will default on its debt. What the wealthy want is to shake confidence in the US as a borrower so that treasury interest rates rise closer to the level of commercial interest rates. The wealthy are desperate for a safe investment with a good return. Introducing fake risk to US debt is a sensible policy for them to pursue.

            • rea says:

              There is no chance the US will default on its debt

              There is no chance that the US will be in a position in which it must default on its debt. There is a considerable chance, as the events of last year showed, that the US will default on its debt unnecessarily, due to Republican politics.

              • njorl says:

                It might come to pass that political machinations cause temporary interruptions of payments, and thereby damage the reputation of the US, but all debts will be paid. The people who are behind the brinksmanship also own a lot of treasuries.

                The one debt that might be in danger is the debt the federal government owes to itself – the general fund’s debt to the social security trust fund. Even that is only in jeopardy if the Republicans decide it is worth political suicide to gain a one time cash windfall for the wealthy – essentially screwing those 40 and under out of their SocSec benefits and sparing the wealthy from the taxes to pay for them.

            • bradp says:

              Perhaps there is some conspiracy like this from some angles, but the wealthy can make money from any distortion. If US debt was thought to be safer than it actually is, they would have no trouble translating that into derivatives and hedges that pay off just as well.

              The wealthy typically want stability and accurate pricing, because volatility in pricing threatens their rents.

              • njorl says:

                There are always lots of ways to make money. What is lacking is safe ways to make money. There aren’t any right now. The wealthy find it intolerable that treasuries are paying off at lower than inflation rates.

                The demand for safe investment vehicles is enormous. It drove the mortgage loan crisis. It now drives Republican economic policy. They want huge debt and economic uncertainty. They want real tax cuts and spending-cut hand waving.

                • bradp says:

                  They want huge debt and economic uncertainty.

                  I’m sure they have no problem with debt, but the idea that the wealthy would prefer economic uncertainty isn’t very convincing.

                • njorl says:

                  but the idea that the wealthy would prefer economic uncertainty isn’t very convincing.

                  I wasn’t clear. They want higher rates on T-bills. Uncertainty in the federal budget situation is an acceptable means to bring that about. General economic uncertainty, with regard to GDP growth projections etc. is not desirable.

            • Manju says:

              There is no chance the US will default on its debt.

              There is a chance. See mny response to Mal below.

              If that doesn’t seem like a big deal, see the Paul Krugman quote in my response to DrDick below.

          • DrDick says:

            Further proof that you are delusional and do not know what you are talking about. The US literally cannot default on its debt, because all they have to do is print the money and pay it off. There would be some adverse effects of that, but far less than the austerian policies favored by lunatic libertarians and conservatives (as currently seen in Europe). Even if it did default, that would not be such a bad thing in the long term, as Argentina shows.

            • Manju says:

              The US literally cannot default on its debt…

              Even if it did default…

              So, in the 2nd quote, you proceed to consider what would happen if the US did what you just said it literally cannot do.

              Shorter DrDick: The US literally cannot default except when it can.

              • Malaclypse says:

                Fixed DrDick: Since US debt is denominated in US dollars, and the US can print dollars in any amount it wishes, there is literally no possible reason that the US would simply default on the debt.

                Happy now?

                • Manju says:

                  Incorrect, since the US has had an unintentional default:

                  Investors in T-bills maturing April 26, 1979 were told that the U.S. Treasury could not make its payments on maturing securities to individual investors. The Treasury was also late in redeeming T-bills which become due on May 3 and May 10, 1979. The Treasury blamed this delay on an unprecedented volume of participation by small investors, on failure of Congress to act in a timely fashion on the debt ceiling legislation in April, and on an unanticipated failure of word processing equipment used to prepare check schedules

                  Was that really a default. According to the economist who directs the liberal Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, it was indeed, unambiguously so:

                  But I think it’s unambiguous. A debt default occurs anytime a creditor fails to make a timely interest or principal payment. By that standard, the United States did default. It was small. It was unintentional. But it was indeed a default.

                  http://dmarron.com/2011/05/26/the-day-the-united-states-defaulted-on-treasury-bills/

                • Malaclypse says:

                  an unanticipated failure of word processing equipment used to prepare check schedules

                  You know, I love the fact that you can dig up a 30-year-old printer jam and throw it into the mix.

                  I’m not snarking; don’t ever change.

                • Manju says:

                  You know, I love the fact that you can dig up a 30-year-old printer jam and throw it into the mix.

                  Read that in conjucntion with the Krugman quote in below (in reply to Dr.Dick) and you will see why a Default is possible and potentially serious.

                • DrDick says:

                  You know, I love the fact that you can dig up a 30-year-old printer jam and throw it into the mix.

                  Every village needs its idiot.

              • Njorl says:

                The US could pass a Constitutional amendment allowing it to default on debts.

                The entire Earth’s population could simultaneously break out into a performance of the Ring cycle.

              • DrDick says:

                Njorl raises an important point. By Constitutional authority, the US cannot default on the debt:

                14th Amendment, Section 4:

                The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.

                My point, which seems to ha slipped past your pointy little head (as usual), is that while the US has no reason to default and could solve the problem simply printing money (as Mal points out), even if it did decide to do so, the results would be less disastrous than pursuing the policies favored by you and every other rightwing loon. You continue to demonstrate the keen analytic and critical reading skills of a backward 9th grader.

                • Manju says:

                  while the US has no reason to default

                  See my response to Mal.

                  and could solve the problem simply printing money (as Mal points out)

                  Once you can no longer sell existing bonds to absorb excess cash, printing money is as good as defaulting. So, it doesn’t “solve the problem”

                  Even if it did default, that would not be such a bad thing in the long term, as Argentina shows.

                  Because if Argentina has a deep recession, it affects the world just like an American recession does. And the world totally depends on the peso just like it does the dollar. Paul Krugman explains:

                  Failure to raise the debt limit — which would, among other things, disrupt payments on existing debt — could convince investors that the United States is no longer a serious, responsible country, with nasty consequences. Furthermore, nobody knows what a U.S. default would do to the world financial system, which is built on the presumption that U.S. government debt is the ultimate safe asset.

                  See, he’s worryed about the Repubs vis a vis default too. Perhaps this is he’s further proof (hey, he uses DW-Nominate and LArry Bartels studies too) that he is delusional and does not know what he is talking about.

                  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/01/opinion/01krugman.html

                • Malaclypse says:

                  Once you can no longer sell existing bonds to absorb excess cash, printing money is as good as defaulting.

                  This is simply factually incorrect.

                • Manju says:

                  This is simply factually incorrect.

                  Hey, I’ll reconsider if you make your case. After all, I’m not God, Dr Laura.

                • Malaclypse says:

                  Okay, let us imagine you hold a bond promising payment of One Million Quatloos. I have no Quatloos, but I do own the only printing press that has the legal right to print Quatloos, and it has the legal right to print an infinite number. So I print one million of them, and give them to you.

                  See how that is not a default?

                • Manju says:

                  See how that is not a default?

                  Yeah. That’s why I said (after the Fed runs out of options to neutralize the amount of money in circulation) printing money is as good as defaulting.

                  Either way, U.S. government debt will no longer be the “ultimate safe asset”.

                • DrDick says:

                  See my response to Mal.

                  See Mal’s response to you.

                  Once you can no longer sell existing bonds to absorb excess cash, printing money is as good as defaulting. So, it doesn’t “solve the problem”

                  I do not know what the first clause is even supposed to mean or how it is relevant to anything. What fucking “excess cash are you talking about? And yes, the problem is solved, as the US no longer has a debt. Period. That has adverse implications, but it does not change the truth of my statement. You also point out, by quoting Krugman, is not the US debt, but Republican obstructionism. It is quite clear that they are willing to destroy the country to seize power. They have not felt constrained by common decency or the rule of law for a very long time now.

                • Manju says:
                  See my response to Mal.

                  See Mal’s response to you.

                  See my response to Mal.

                • Manju says:

                  I do not know what the first clause is even supposed to mean or how it is relevant to anything. What fucking “excess cash are you talking about?

                  Republicans refuse to riase the debt ceiling. After tax revenues are used up, the Treasury starts printing money to service our debt. The Fed responds by selling existing bonds, taking money out of the economy as the Treasury adds, and thus mitigating inflation.

                  So up to this point, printing money is ok. But once the Fed runs out of bonds, it becomes a defacto partial default, since the dollar is worth little. Now go read what Krugman says about a partual default.

                • Manju says:

                  You also point out, by quoting Krugman, [the problem] is not the US debt, but Republican obstructionism.

                  I said defaulting on the national debt is insane (therfore Millionaire’s who vote Romney are out of their mind). You objected on the basis that the US cannot default, due to our ability to print money. This was further proof that I am delusional and do not know what I amn talking about.

                  But Paul Krugman says we can indeed default, for the very reasons I gave (the R’s are insane). Either Paul Krugman is delusional and does know what he is talkig about, or you are.

                  I’m going with Occam’s razor.

                • Manju says:

                  And yes, the problem is solved, as the US no longer has a debt.

                  Repeat after me. The US does not have a debt problem. (I think you know this but have become confused).

                  Failing to raise the debt ceiling could produce a default. That’s the problem. Printing money doesn’t solve that problem, because it results in the same consequences. As Paul Krugman points out; “the world financial system…is built on the presumption that U.S. government debt is the ultimate safe asset.”

                  Under both scenarios, default and printing, this would no hold true. Since the world financial system does not depend on the peso, you should stop looking at Argentina.

                • Malaclypse says:

                  But once the Fed runs out of bonds, it becomes a defacto partial default, since the dollar is worth little.

                  At least several of these words do not mean what you think they mean.

    • mpowell says:

      Yeah, idiots. The Republicans reward their donors. That’s the end of the story. If Vegas wants their to be online gambling, Republicans will make it happen. Not otherwise.

  7. ploeg says:

    You can’t deny that, at least in some cases, the Romneys are pro-drug.

  8. Desert Rat says:

    No surprise.

    Scott Adams is a classic libertarian (i.e. a Republican who smokes dope and watches porn).

  9. Brady Smith says:

    Well, it’s dumb to assume that Romney would be better on pot that Obama. It’s even dumber, in an election in which quite a lot is at stake, to make the nominee’s position on pot into the make or break issue.

    • greylocks says:

      Not if you’re a habitual pot smoker, which kinda makes you, you know, not really, you know, give a shit about…

      Uh, dude, what was the question?

    • NonyNony says:

      It’s even dumber, in an election in which quite a lot is at stake, to make the nominee’s position on pot into the make or break issue.

      Not dumb if the only issue that impacts you in this election is pot.

      If you’re rich, white, overprivileged, male, kind of stupid and you like to smoke weed it’s probably the most important issue on the planet to you.

      Explains why Scott Adams would use it as his make-or-break issue. He’s self evidently rich, white and male and his history of Internet Fuckwaddery has shown him to be consistently overprivileged and kind of stupid.

      • JL says:

        I can feel sympathy for chronic pain patients who aren’t able to legally access the best treatment for their pain, if they place a lot of importance on it.

        Or people who have been incarcerated or had a family member incarcerated because of pot’s illegality.

        I’m not aware of either of those things applying to Scott Adams.

  10. mark f says:

    Yes, Romney is so soft on pot he won’t even pretend to pander to or empathize with twenty-year olds who suffer from muscular dystrophy. Or even assure him that he won’t jail him for smoking prescription pot.

    http://reason.com/blog/2012/05/10/medical-marijuana-is-not-an-issue-of-sig

  11. howard says:

    i came over to see if the yankee pile-on had begun yet to discover that scott adams is insane, which i must admit, i hadn’t previously realized.

  12. Gary K says:

    Adams is on the left in about the same way as David Mamet. Because he has learned to be clever about one topic in one medium, he thinks he knows it all. Take evolution, for example: he just knows it smells wrong, it sets off his bullshit detector, etc.

  13. Aaron says:

    Does Scott Adams realize that but for a periodic application of hair dye, Romney’s hair would already be silver?

  14. Joe says:

    As noted, Adams has been shown to be a tool in the past. I still want to know — as a Reason or Rolling Stone piece that these sorts of discussions usually reference notes — why the Administration became much more strict on pot. The article noted it was pretty good early on & then changed.

    Obama is so “bad” because past presidents didn’t have the same situation. CA & other states significantly liberalized their laws & this took some time to reach a certain critical mass. Likewise, Obama had more pressure to be strict on crime than Bush though that on some level is inane given Bush’s past.

    This doesn’t justify but helps explain. Also, yeah, it’s inane to think Romney would be better. Citing Obama’s negative record there lacks a certain connective tissue.

  15. vacuumslayer says:

    Scott Adams is an MRA-type guy. So I don’t find this surprising.

  16. rea says:

    So Adams is throwing his support to the pointy-hair boss?

  17. mark f says:

    Does Scott Adams still troll his own comments with a sock puppet who reminds everyone that Scott Adams is a “certified genius”?

  18. Ken Houghton says:

    I may be misremembering, but it was under Obama that the b.s. crack penalty went from 100:1 to 18:1, no?

    It’s not legalization, but it’s a move more on the right direction than anything Willard supported–or, more generally, had passed over his veto 88% of the time–while he was sidebarring binderized women in Massachusetts.

  19. Barry Freed says:

    That’s it, time to kick Barry O out of The Choom Gang.

  20. montag says:

    Oh, jeezuz, Rmoney is a guy who thinks caffeine is the devil’s work.

    I can only imagine what a stiff, stick-up-his-ass jerk like him thinks about grass.

  21. parrot says:

    willard is gonna lbo my grow-op and send it to china indonesia

  22. Tracy Lightcap says:

    One thing people seem to forget regularly is that Obama came up in a very hard political school: Chicago politics.

    In Chicago, you are for the politics you can afford. You will not go out on a limb on multiple issues where you aren’t in the same ball park with the general public. I don’t think it’s so much a matter of Barack not caring one way or the other about decriminalizing dope as it is:

    a. The electorate knows – or would soon enough from the opposition – that movement here is largely up to the president and there’s no way he can deflect blame for such actions off onto others, and

    b. He knows that, while many people feel that the present dope laws are ineffective and wrong, not too may of them will step up to the plate to support him if he moves on it.

    The issue simply doesn’t have enough salience to move voters who are in favor of change and it has tremendous motivational force for voters who are intensely against it. Result for anyone who wants to win an election in the middle of a recession = don’t touch this issue with a fork! Let the policy ride until you get past the election, then maybe, just maybe, try to do something about it.

    Ok, this leads to great unfairness, but, like Joe Biden said, “Trust your instincts on this.” Does anyone out there think that Romney, with a Pub House at his back would be better? If you do, then you must be smoking large amounts of what Adams would like legalized.

    • Brandon C. says:

      +1

      I’ve always thought he was pretty far to the left and just pretty much playing with what he could get at.

    • Matt McIrvin says:

      Exhibit A for this hypothesis: same-sex marriage. Obama waited until he was sure he could express support without getting massacred for it, then he “evolved”. He wasn’t going to get out in front on that one; he’d done the calculations. And it was immensely frustrating for a while.

  23. brad says:

    I’d lump this in the same file as Buzz Bissinger (sp?). Marginal media figure takes cheap contrarian position for attention, film at hopefully never.

  24. Manju says:

    Who the hell is Scott Adams? Get back to me when we lose Sam. Then, I’ll start worrying.

    • The Dark Avenger says:

      Larry Bartels and others have argued that there have been times in American history when folks clearly voted values over economics.

      Nope, that was the thesis of “What’s the Matter with Kansas”, which you claimed that Bartels proved was wrong-headed:

      What’s the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America (2004) is a book by American journalist and historian Thomas Frank, which explores the rise of populist anti-elitist Conservatism in the United States, centering on the experience of Kansas, Frank’s native state. In the late 19th century, Kansas was known as a hotbed of the left-wing Populist movement, but in recent decades, it has become overwhelmingly conservative. The book was published in Britain and Australia as What’s the Matter with America?.

      Yes, the rich vote for what isn’t in their own self-interest at times, but the working class? Never happened, according to Bartels.

      Keep being hackish, Manju, otherwise people wouldn’t know you’re a right-winger.

      • DrDick says:

        And he wonders why we ridicule him and ignore his “evidence.”

      • Manju says:

        Larry Bartels and others have argued that there have been times in American history when folks clearly voted values over economics.

        Nope, that was the thesis of “What’s the Matter with Kansas”, which you claimed that Bartels proved was wrong-headed:

        Frank’s thesis is that the White working class have been increasing voting Republican due to social issues, ie against their economic interest.

        You took my words out of context. The very next sentence is:

        But the folks in question were the rich, not poor

        .So you are incorrect, that was not the thesis of “What’s the Matter with Kansas”.

      • Manju says:

        Yes, the rich vote for what isn’t in their own self-interest at times, but the working class? Never happened, according to Bartels.

        Not really. Bartels, Krugman, and Gelman are more nuanced than that.

        Basically, at the time that WTMWK was published, the shift (using Presidential elections) in the White Working Class (defined by income) was confined to the South (where the WWC went from overwhelmingly Dem to the same as the rest of the country.

        But once, Obama entered the scene, the Southern WWC kept going. This should brighten your day, since I’ve provided you with evidence of Republican racism. However, this doesn’t help WTMWK.

        Another further nuance. There is some evidence of a shift before 2008. If you define WWC by educational achievement (less than high school, i think, instead of less than college) and measure by party affiliation instead of voting behavior, there is a shift in the entire country.

        But you’re talking about an increasingly smaller % of the population, not measuring voting itself, and not correlating directly to income (after all, we are talking about economic interests)

        • The Dark Avenger says:

          Sorry, Manju, but Krugman agrees with Frank in this respect:

          But why do regions that rely on the safety net elect politicians who want to tear it down? I’ve seen three main explanations.

          First, there is Thomas Frank’s thesis in his book “What’s the Matter With Kansas?”: working-class Americans are induced to vote against their own interests by the G.O.P.’s exploitation of social issues. And it’s true that, for example, Americans who regularly attend church are much more likely to vote Republican, at any given level of income, than those who don’t.

          Still, as Columbia University’s Andrew Gelman points out, the really striking red-blue voting divide is among the affluent: High-income residents of red states are overwhelmingly Republican; high-income residents of blue states only mildly more Republican than their poorer neighbors. Like Mr. Frank, Mr. Gelman invokes social issues, but in the opposite direction. Affluent voters in the Northeast tend to be social liberals who would benefit from tax cuts but are repelled by things like the G.O.P.’s war on contraception.

          Another example of your ridiculous oversimplification of what others have written on the subject.

          • Manju says:

            Sorry, Manju, but Krugman agrees with Frank in this respect:

            Well then, its too bad that you’ve already dismissed Krugman’s opinions on the matter. (“I’m sorry that you can’t cite anyone besides an academic economist on a question of political science, which is about like an anthropologist opining on the sociology of the Amish.”)

            And since Krugman presumably got his data about frequent church goers from Bartels, too bad you’ve already dismissed Bartels. (“Larry Bartels is an academic hack…”)

            It takes a special kind of hack to hack herself.

          • Manju says:

            Another example of your ridiculous oversimplification of what others have written on the subject.

            You said “Never happened, according to Bartels”.

            I spent the very comment to which you are responding elaborating on the nuances in Frank’s favor. I’ve been mentioning this since my very first post (2 threads ago) on this matter.

            Yet you take issue, seemingly unaware that I am supplying you with evidence of Republican racism.

            Along the way you’ve manged to slur the finest minds on your side of the isle. Bartels is a hack. Katrina vanden Heuvel can’t be trusted b/c she went to Princeton (where Bartels was). Paul Krugman isn’t qualified.

            It takes a special hack to hack herself. You are a the Janice Dickerson of Hacks. The worlds fist Superhack.

            • The Dark Avenger says:

              And since Krugman presumably got his data about frequent church goers from Bartels,

              Sorry, Manju, since he mentioned Frank, it’s very likely he is citing Frank. Here’s the paragraph in question, after he mentions Frank:

              And it’s true that, for example, Americans who regularly attend church are much more likely to vote Republican, at any given level of income, than those who don’t.

              I spent the very comment to which you are responding elaborating on the nuances in Frank’s favor. I’ve been mentioning this since my very first post (2 threads ago) on this matter.

              Sorry, but you still haven’t accounted for Krugman’s endorsement of Franks’ demonstration of church attendance tracking with conservative voting patterns.

              Yet you take issue, seemingly unaware that I am supplying you with evidence of Republican racism.

              I thought that the Gospel According to Manju is that the Democrats are the real racists in America, because Senators and Congressmen who voted against the various Civil Rights Acts from the Democratic party were returned to Congress by their constituencies time and time again.

              Along the way you’ve manged to slur the finest minds on your side of the isle. Bartels is a hack. Katrina vanden Heuvel can’t be trusted b/c she went to Princeton (where Bartels was). Paul Krugman isn’t qualified.

              Katrina vanden Heuvel did nothing but parrot what Bartels wrote. Krugman thinks there is some merit in Franks’ research, which you deny entirely, but you cite him still. Bartels had to revise his polemic against Frank, which suggests he didn’t get it right the first time in the first place.

              You’re not very bright, Manju, since you bitterly cling to your RW ways despite being on the same side as racists and so on.

              You’ll get it right in 20 years or so, Manju.

              • Manju says:

                Sorry, Manju, since he mentioned Frank, it’s very likely he is citing Frank.

                It is impossible for Krugman to be citing Frank, because Frank did not conduct any research on the relationship between church attendance and partisan voting across income lines. In contrast, Bartel’s has.

                For example, in the very work that Krugman says “is must reading for anyone trying to understand modern American political, economy”, you will find these charts and an extensive analysis of the data contained within.

                Table 4: Social and Economic Issue Preferences and Presidential Votes by Religiosity, 1984-2004 (Whites Only)

                Table 5: Social and Economic Issue Preferences and Party Identification by Religiosity, 1984-2004 (Whites Only)
                .
                Infrequent church-goers attended “never” or “a few times a year.” Frequent church-goers attended at least “once or twice a month.” Highly religious people said religion provides “a great deal” of guidance in their day-to-day living.

                • Manju says:

                  That is, why did Krugman mention Frank if it was a finding by Bartel?

                  First, there is Michelle Bachman’s thesis in her book “Teabagger Econ”: tax-cuts pay for themselves. And it’s true that, for example, tax cuts are stimulative.

                  Capice?

                  The data cited doesn’t have to come from Bachman merely b/c Bachman’s name is mentioned….especially because, like Frank, Bachman does not do research of that kind. More likely, the data is coming from an actual economist, even a Keynesian.

                  Now, Krugman is much more sympathetic to Frank than he would be to Bachman. That’s the brilliance of my use of Krugman. Krugman wants to believe Frank. He’s biased in his favor. But sadly (for Krug) the data is not on Frank’s side.

                  So, he’s gently dismissing the argument. He’s saying that there is only a kernal of truth in it.

                  The paragraph is merely a setup to move onto the serious scholar: Andrew Gelman. And, as you know, Gelman agrees with Bartels:

                  DrDick-level Villiage Idiot:

                  Poor whites are very much the republican base and have been for the past 20 – 30 years, I refer you to “what’s the matter with Kansas” and any number of other books about people voting against their economic interests.

                  Andrew Gelamn:

                  Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! OK, I can understand that Tucker Carlson gets this wrong. But a commenter at our own blog, right here? Scary stuff.

                  Krugman was being subtle. Because you have not read the works in question, and are trying to fake it, this went over your head.

                  http://themonkeycage.org/blog/2012/07/13/i-think-some-readers-of-the-monkey-cage-are-not-regular-readers-of-the-monkey-cage/

              • Manju says:

                Sorry, but you still haven’t accounted for Krugman’s endorsement of Franks’ demonstration of church attendance tracking with conservative voting patterns.

                Liars often end up contradicting themselves, because they can’t remember their past lies.

                Paul Krugman tells us that “Americans who regularly attend church are much more likely to vote Republican, at any given level of income, than those who don’t”. You wish to attribute this data to Frank, even though you’ve never read the book in question. The problem is that in the past you dishonestly endorsed this statement:

                What’s the Matter With Kansas is actually almost all about Kansas, though.

                It would be awfully stupid for Krugman to be citing data restricted to Kansas when he is writing about America as a whole.

                Paul Krugman is not that stupid.

                • DrDick says:

                  Paul Krugman is not that stupid.

                  No, but you are.

                • Manju says:

                  No, but you are.

                  Argument by assertion.

                • The Dark Avenger says:

                  It is impossible for Krugman to be citing Frank, because Frank did not conduct any research on the relationship between church attendance and partisan voting across income lines. In contrast, Bartel’s has.

                  Then why did he mention Krugman when citing that particular finding, Manju?

                  DrDick is correct, you’ve just proven that you’re not particularly bright, not enough to be a deliberate liar.

                • The Dark Avenger says:

                  That is, why did Krugman mention Frank if it was a finding by Bartel?

                  Sorry, Manju, but your sloppiness seems to be catching today.

                • DrDick says:

                  Argument by assertion.

                  Still a step up from your standard argument by incoherence and irrelevancy. You have thoroughly demonstrated your lack of intellectual ability to everyone here and we are all agreed that you are the village idiot. I keep telling you to come back when you graduate high school, perhaps you will not embarrass yourself so much.

                • The Dark Avenger says:

                  1. Why the mention of Frank? and

                  2. of course Krugman wasn’t talking about Kansas in specific in the column I cited,
                  and

                  3. you still haven’t explained the logic of Krugman mentioning Frank and talking about the correlation with church attendance.

                  Throwing stuff to see what will stick to the wall.

                  Anyhoo, you should send your resume in to Carlson Tucker, and I don’t know about DrDick but you can put me down as a reference.

                • Manju says:

                  1. Why the mention of Frank?

                  Krugman mentions Frank because his thesis is one of the 3 main ones lefty-folks use to explain “Moochers Against Welfare”.

                  2. of course Krugman wasn’t talking about Kansas in specific in the column I cited,

                  Yes. And since you know that Frank’s anecdotal research was conducted almost exclusively in Kansas, the data referenced in the sentence in question cannot be from Frank…unless Krugman is as stupid as Frank.

                  It can however be from Bartels…since I’ve provided you with proof that Bartels has produced such data. And Bartels is as smart as Krugman.

                  Furthermore, you know that Frank does not approve of the use of income as the definition of working class. You cited that very disapproval. The Krugman sentence in question uses income groups (not Frank’s preferred education or even self-described class). Krugman, like Bartles and Gelman, believes income is more germane to the question of voting against ones economic interest.

                  Since Frank dismisses income and did not conduct his anecdotal interviews outside of Kansas, the data referenced in the sentence following the one that uses Frank’s name, was not conducted by Frank.

    • Manju says:

      3. you still haven’t explained the logic of Krugman mentioning Frank and talking about the correlation with church attendance.

      This is Krugman at his best. He’s being very subtle. He must convince his lefty bretehn of something he knows they will resist: the idea that its really rich-folks who are voting agianst their econominc interests. Look at how much time you’ve spent resisting this idea.

      He mentions Frank to soften his comrades up. Frank’s thesis was like opium to the likes of Katrina Vanden Heuvel. Its like “tax cuts pay for themselves” is to the right. If you read him carefully, you will notice that just as he appears to back up Frank, he undermines him:

      First, there is Thomas Frank’s thesis in his book “What’s the Matter With Kansas?”: working-class Americans are induced to vote against their own interests by the G.O.P.’s exploitation of social issues. And it’s true that, for example, Americans who regularly attend church are much more likely to vote Republican, at any given level of income, than those who don’t.

      “At any given level of income” is not Frank’s thesis. All that left of WTMWK is the idea that “value voters” actually exist. There’s the kernal of truth. With that established, he introduces the whopper:

      Like Mr. Frank, Mr. Gelman invokes social issues, but in the opposite direction. Affluent voters in the Northeast tend to be social liberals who would benefit from tax cuts but are repelled by things like the G.O.P.’s war on contraception.

      Marx has been flipped on his head. It’s really the rich who can be induced to vote against their economic interests due to values. Since this is so counterintuitive, Krugman uses Frank as a sleight of hand.

      • The Dark Avenger says:

        The term anecdotal research doesn’t make sense Manju, as with the rest of your so-called explanation about why Frank was cited by Krugman at the beginning of his post I cited.

        Keep flailing, Manju, surely someone here will recognize your genius someday.

        • Manju says:

          The term anecdotal research doesn’t make sense Manju,

          You will often hear anecdotal research referred to in contrast to comprehensive and quantitative research

          An anecdote is a story or short account of a happening. It’s often used to draw a correlation between similar situations. Something anecdotal, such as “anecdotal evidence,” is story-like evidence told from a few sources, rather than gathered through comprehensive research.

          http://vocabulary-vocabulary.com/dictionary/anecdotal.php

          Krugman, Bartels, and Gekman use “comprehensive and quantitative research”. I included Krug in the mix becasue he is famous for doing so, wheras the ohter 2 are repsected but relatively obscure academics. You’ve spent 3 threads railing against them for their science, going as far as calling Bartels “an academic hack”.

          Frank, in contrst, present “story-like evidence told from a few sources, rather than gathered through comprehensive research.”He then assumes those sources not only tell us something about Kansas, but about the US.

          Paul Krugman has been telling you that Frank is wrong. So you tell us that Krugman is unqualified…until you misread his gentle and sympathetic dismissal of WTMWK’s central thesis. Then you cite him as an authority.

          But you’ve already hacked Krugman to the point that he’s damaged goods. It takes quite a hack to hack herself. You are the world’s first superhack.

          • The Dark Avenger says:

            Frank, in contrast, present “story-like evidence told from a few sources, rather than gathered through comprehensive research.”He then assumes those sources not only tell us something about Kansas, but about the US.

            Unfortunately, Manju, unless one believes that Frank is a liar, his research is more than anecdotal:

            The fundamental assumption animating Bartels’ attack on What’s the Matter With
            Kansas? (WMK) is that studies like mine—based on movement literature, local history,interviews, state-level election results, and personal observation—are inherently inferior to mathematical extrapolations drawn from the National Election Surveys (NES). Indeed, Bartels seems to understand his assault on WMK as a blow struck for responsible academic professionalism against a contemptible “pundit literature.”2

            Paul Krugman has been telling you that Frank is wrong.

            Which is why he cited him favorably in the column I cited, because he is wrong.

            But you’ve already hacked Krugman to the point that he’s damaged goods. It takes quite a hack to hack herself. You are the world’s first superhack.

            I’m sorry that I’ve exploded your pretense of scholarship, Manju, and demonstrated the correctness of DrDick’s observations of you.

            • Manju says:

              Unfortunately, Manju, unless one believes that Frank is a liar, his research is more than anecdotal:

              The “movement literature, local history,interviews” Frank uses are anecdotal.

              Paul Krugman has been telling you that Frank is wrong.

              Which is why he cited him favorably in the column I cited, because he is wrong.

              The kernals of truth in Frank’s works that Krugman (or for that matter, Bartels) agree with, are not the ones they (or I) are telling you are wrong. After all, Katrina vanden Heuvel also says favorable things about Frank:

              I’m a Tom Frank fan. I think he’s a wonderful and passionate writer.

              But she does so in order to introduce the academic using actual comprehensive and quantitative evidence, Bartles. Obvioulsy you know this b/c that’s why you insulted vanden Heuvel.

              Likewise you insulted Krugman. Krugman uses Frank to move onto Gelman. Gelman , Krugman, and Bartles all agree that Frank’s central thesis in WTMWK is wrong.

              • The Dark Avenger says:

                The “movement literature, local history,interviews” Frank uses are anecdotal.

                Have you reviewed his citations or are you basing your opinion on Bartels’s characterization of his work?

                The kernals of truth in Frank’s works that Krugman (or for that matter, Bartels) agree with, are not the ones they (or I) are telling you are wrong. After all, Katrina vanden Heuvel also says favorable things about Frank

                That’s the salt of faint praise to make her criticism of him all the worse. I’m surprised that you got taken in by that old literary trick, but then that would like asking you to tell chalk from cheese.

                But she does so in order to introduce the academic using actual comprehensive and quantitative evidence, Bartles. Obvioulsy you know this b/c that’s why you insulted vanden Heuvel.

                I merely point out that such academic logrolling for someone who was a Princeton undergrad is a possibility
                that hasn’t been ruled out in this case, especially since she took Bartels’ word for it without adding anything of value of her own.

                It wouldn’t be the first time(substitute institution of your choice), and you didn’t realize the compliment I was paying her by demonstrating that it was under your nose all this time. I don’t know why you think she’s not looking out for her own interests because she’s a leftist.

                Likewise you insulted Krugman. Krugman uses Frank to move onto Gelman. Gelman , Krugman, and Bartles all agree that Frank’s central thesis in WTMWK is wrong.

                You don’t accept Krugman’s authority about the impossibility of the US defaulting on its’ debt, but you want me to do so about political matters.

                OK.

                • Manu says:

                  You don’t accept Krugman’s authority about the impossibility of the US defaulting on its’ debt,

                  DrDick believes its impossible to for the US to default. Paul Krugman and I do not.

                • Manu says:

                  That’s the salt of faint praise to make her criticism of him all the worse. I’m surprised that you got taken in by that old literary trick, but then that would like asking you to tell chalk from cheese.

                  That’s what I’m telling you, tho I would praise it this way.

                  Before Bartels’ came along, both KVH anb Krug were fans of WTMWK. And they remain sympathetic.

                  That makes their siding with Bartels all the more brutal for Frank. They switched positions.

                • The Dark Avenger says:

                  Here’s Krugman on the national debt:

                  Second — and this is the point almost nobody seems to get — an over-borrowed family owes money to someone else; U.S. debt is, to a large extent, money we owe to ourselves.

                  This was clearly true of the debt incurred to win World War II. Taxpayers were on the hook for a debt that was significantly bigger, as a percentage of G.D.P., than debt today; but that debt was also owned by taxpayers, such as all the people who bought savings bonds. So the debt didn’t make postwar America poorer. In particular, the debt didn’t prevent the postwar generation from experiencing the biggest rise in incomes and living standards in our nation’s history.

                  But isn’t this time different? Not as much as you think.

                  It’s true that foreigners now hold large claims on the United States, including a fair amount of government debt. But every dollar’s worth of foreign claims on America is matched by 89 cents’ worth of U.S. claims on foreigners. And because foreigners tend to put their U.S. investments into safe, low-yield assets, America actually earns more from its assets abroad than it pays to foreign investors. If your image is of a nation that’s already deep in hock to the Chinese, you’ve been misinformed. Nor are we heading rapidly in that direction.

                  Now, the fact that federal debt isn’t at all like a mortgage on America’s future doesn’t mean that the debt is harmless. Taxes must be levied to pay the interest, and you don’t have to be a right-wing ideologue to concede that taxes impose some cost on the economy, if nothing else by causing a diversion of resources away from productive activities into tax avoidance and evasion. But these costs are a lot less dramatic than the analogy with an overindebted family might suggest.

                  And that’s why nations with stable, responsible governments — that is, governments that are willing to impose modestly higher taxes when the situation warrants it — have historically been able to live with much higher levels of debt than today’s conventional wisdom would lead you to believe. Britain, in particular, has had debt exceeding 100 percent of G.D.P. for 81 of the last 170 years. When Keynes was writing about the need to spend your way out of a depression, Britain was deeper in debt than any advanced nation today, with the exception of Japan.

                  In fact, at one point he was in favor of ‘defaulting’, although not in the sense you and DrDick were discussing it:

                  Much pearl-clutching after the statement on This Week by Paul Krugman that the U.S. should allow the government to default on the debt limit rather than allow Republicans to hold New Deal social programs hostage. Former Deputy Treasury Secretary Roger Altman is quick to say he “respects” Krugman but disagrees. I’ll just bet you do, Roger!

                  And a “terrified” FDIC chairwoman Sheila Bair responds by urgently listing the potential effect on the bond market and institutional investors, of course completely missing the point: Would it be the Democrats’ fault — or that of the Republicans who are trying to impose their extremist and anti-democratic beliefs on the majority?

                  “I’m terrified by a blackmail political system,” Krugman responds.

                • Manu says:

                  Have you reviewed his citations or are you basing your opinion on Bartels’s characterization of his work?

                  I’ve reviewed his citations.

    • Manju says:

      Here’s Krugman on the national debt

      I don’t know what you are trying to demonstrate.

      DrDick believes its impossible for the US to default. Paul Krugman and I do not. You said otherwise, so I corrected you.

    • Manju says:

      I merely point out that such academic logrolling for someone who was a Princeton undergrad is a possibility that hasn’t been ruled out in this case,

      With no evidence other than gult by association, you accussed Katrina vanden Heuval of academic logrolling:

      Thanks for finding that piece of academic logrolling, Manju.

      • The Dark Avenger says:

        I merely put it out there as a strongf possibility, Manju. As a RW type it must shock you that I would accuse a Leftist of acting as though she has a career to consider instead of mere principles.

        As the writer and amateur gambler put it Damon Runyon put it:

        The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that’s the way to bet.

        • The Dark Avenger says:

          I’m afraid I don’t believe you about the souces Manju, otherwise you’d be able to do more than echo Bartles’s criticisms, or repeat vandev Heuvel’s careerist repetition his criticisms, or explain why Bartel felt it necessary to revise his criticism of Frank for a second time instead of directly replying to Frank, which is the normal case in such academic disagreements.

          I’m sorry you demonstrate such naivete around here Manju, but then you tend to idolize academia as though you’re a new graduate student of politics at Princeton instead of opening your eyes and seeing what’s there in plain sight.

          • Manju says:

            I’m afraid I don’t believe you about the souces Manju, otherwise you’d be able to do more than echo Bartles’s criticisms, or repeat vandev Heuvel’s careerist repetition his criticisms,

            If someone doesn’t belive you, you cite credible sources. I cited some of the brightest minds on the left. You respond by repeatedly slurring Katrina vanden Heuval, declaring a nobel prize winning economist unqualified to review data, calling Bartels a hack with no evidence to back it up, and not knowing what to do with Gelman.

            I gave you 4 cites.

            or explain why Bartel felt it necessary to revise his criticism of Frank for a second time instead of directly replying to Frank, which is the normal case in such academic disagreements.

            Frank is not an academic. I already explained why bartels conducted 2 studies. Hell, he’s even conducted more than 2. That’s what scholars do.

            I’m sorry you demonstrate such naivete around here Manju, but then you tend to idolize academia as though you’re a new graduate student of politics at Princeton instead of opening your eyes and seeing what’s there in plain sight.

            Shorter Dark Avenger: “My prejudices trump the actual data”.

            • The Dark Avenger says:

              declaring a nobel prize winning economist unqualified to review data,

              There is no such thing as a Nobel prize in economics, and expertise in one field doesn’t mean that one has expertise in a related one.

              Frank is not an academic. I already explained why bartels conducted 2 studies. Hell, he’s even conducted more than 2. That’s what scholars do.

              Sorry, it wasn’t 2 studies, it was the revision of a previous criticism, which isn’t the same thing. Even a hack like you should be able to tell the difference.

              Shorter Dark Avenger: “My prejudices trump the actual data”.

              Shorter Manju: “My preferences and naivete trump the real world of academic politics and logrolling.”

              • The Dark Avenger says:

                Also, vanden Heuvel, whom you cite in support of Bartels, isn’t an academic herself, so what’s good for the goose………

                • Manju says:

                  expertise in one field doesn’t mean that one has expertise in a related one.

                  I disagree, but the point is moot.

                  Frank doesn’t even have expertise in the field in question, though that is not why he is wrong.

                  But you are hoisted with your own petard.

                • The Dark Avenger says:

                  Sorry, Manju, if the best you could do is ignore the fact that vanden Heuvel is just as much an academic as Frank, then you really have no standing to tell us why Frank is less reliable than vanden Heuvel.

    • Manju says:

      Sorry, it wasn’t 2 studies, it was the revision of a previous criticism, which isn’t the same thing. Even a hack like you should be able to tell the difference.

      It was both.

      In the first study, Bartels correctly uses “people with family incomes in the bottom third of the income distribution” as the definition of “working class”. He then runs the actual numbers and promptly demonstrates that Frank’s anecdotal account is wrong.

      Frank responded by demanding he “use educational attainment as a proxy for class”.

      So Bartels does that in his 2nd peer-reviewed study, a revision of his 1st…and promptly demonstrates that Frank’s anecdotal account is wrong.

      That’s why there were 2 studies/ 1 revision.

      • The Dark Avenger says:

        I didn’t see that either reply to Frank was peer-reviewed, the fact that you cite vanden Heuvel as a critic despite her own lack of academic scholarship and her parroting of Bartels tells us all we need to know about how rigorous your own standards are when you need someone to criticize Frank.

        As for Bartels’ criticisms:

        In Frank’s response to Bartel’s criticism of What’s the Matter with Kansas, he does a convincing job of refuting the counter argument by attacking Bartel’s strength; his use NES data to support his argument. A major flaw in Bartels argument that Frank points out in his response to Bartels is how he defines “working class”. Bartels operational definition of working class is an individual making $35,000 or less per year, however this also included disabled and retired voters that make up over of third of this data. If the argument is based on how working class voters have shifted one would assume that the data used would only incorporate the actual working class. Bartel’s also dismisses self identification for the purpose of class status, yet at the same time he uses self identification to support his argument when discussing religious identification. It is well known that self identification data can be misleading so you either have to take all of it at face value or dismiss all of it out of hand. As pointed out by Frank using this data selectively to support your argument is flawed.

        • Manju says:

          Ergo, the 2nd paper.

          Bartels, Gelman, and Krugman still stand behind the first…and I’ll elaborate on that 2morrow…but the criticism is moot…since Bartels conducted a 2nd study along education lines.

          the fact that you cite vanden Heuvel as a critic despite her own lack of academic scholarship

          So, you’ve just underminded Frank…since he also is not at Krugman, Bartels, and Gelman’s level.

          *If you want a serious rebuttal to Bartels, look into Lane Kenworthy (tho, I must warn, Lane and Larry are in agreement now).

          Ruy Teixeira is another one. He is not as respected as Bartels and Gelman, but he is at least a scholar.

          Frank is not.

          • The Dark Avenger says:

            Nope, Manju, I’ve never insisted that all criticism of Frank be academic-based, it’s your own inconsistency of bringing in vanden Heuvel as a critic despite her own non-academism that demonstrates your own double-dealing when it comes to the issue of Frank.

            You’ll start getting things right in 20 years or so.

  25. H says:

    I think Scott Adams is completely wrong about Romney being better on marijuana. But I’m voting Green, and I’m going to encourage anyone and everyone to vote Green, even if they live in swing states.

    I’m brown. My parents are from India. We’re Hindus and we have very Hindu names. But I’ve read enough history books to know that the next time there’s a major terrorist attack in this country, they are going to start rounding people up. And the people in charge of the rounding up won’t have cultural anthropology degrees. They will just grab anyone who’s brown. Or worse yet, they will pin them down in the subway and shoot them in the head, just as was done to Brazilian national Jean-Charles de Menezes after the London subway bombings.

    It’s very clear that the Democratic coalition has completely abandoned the notion of due process. Yes, there are a few organizations (such as the ACLU) that are still fighting. And some of the Netroots (such as Glenn Greenwald) are still fighting. But the Democratic base, the Democratic leadership and the Democratic activists by and large don’t care any more. And that puts me and mine at risk.

    If you think I am going to go quietly into some indefinite detention center, you are sadly mistaken. If the Democrats are going to hang a Sword of Damocles over my head, then I am more than willing to help the Republicans point their swords at the Democrats. This may be a completely nihilistic view, but I’m not the one who started this.

    You want me to support gay marriage? I am more than happy to, but you need to start supporting my rights. You want me to support your right to an abortion? I’ll do it, but you need to protect my rights too. You want me to support the safety net? Hey, I’m on board, as soon as you support my safety. Because being able to get gay-married or get an abortion or get a Social Security check is going to do me a fat load of good when I’m being pinned down in a subway with a gun pointed at my head.

    And yeah, the Republicans are assholes, and in an ideal world I could land blows against both the Democrats and the Republicans. But, the Republicans don’t care if I don’t vote for them, so I have to land blows where I can. I can’t take away anything the Republicans care about, but I sure as hell can help take away things Democrats care about. So, that’s what I’m going to do. And if you don’t like it, why should I care? You’ve already made it clear that you don’t care about me and mine.

    • M. Bouffant says:

      Romney will put you & your family in an indefinite detention camp w/o even the formality of a terror attack, & convert you to Mormonism. Then, when your children become “whitesome & delightsome,” they will be let out.

      Sheesh.

      • H says:

        Both Romney and the Democrats will happily put me in an indefinite detention camp, so I don’t see your point. Sheesh. But, hey, keep posting from your obvious position of privilege.

        • Cody says:

          I can’ tell if you’re intentionally trolling or not. Please tell me you are?

          Because if not, you need to step back and take a deep breath. We’re not all out to get you. I’m aware my skin isn’t the same color as you, but that doesn’t make me a bad person.

          If the US started rounding people up without any evidence in any kind of scale that was noticeable, you can trust most of us would be out protesting. However, I really fail to see how you have any indication the administration would do anything like this. The Congress has unfortunately given the President the power to do this (in theory), but Obama hasn’t used or given any indication of wanting to.

          I’m aware I’m not brown, and I’m sorry that apparently by being white I’m automatically too racist for you to believe anything I write.

          • H says:

            I think it’s great that you would protest if it came to that. How about you protest now? Because we’re setting up a system which makes that very possible. So, go out and protest now, and you can prevent it from ever happening.

            • Malaclypse says:

              Because we’re setting up a system which makes that very possible.

              That capability has been present for a long time. It seems unlikely that any state capable of functioning as a state would lack that capability. So perhaps it is not unreasonable to protest things that actually occur, rather than things that are not occurring.

            • JL says:

              I do protest now, and I think you are wrong about what electoral politics tactics are useful for advancing your goals (goals which I agree with). Pushing people to vote for unelectable candidates isn’t going to help you unless you can convince enough people do do it with you that the candidates become electable. And you aren’t going to pull that off with the size of your current coalition, and you’re not going to do it in a year or whatever. Until you build the support and infrastructure that you actually need to elect your preferred candidate, protest votes just risk handing things over to the guy who would be even more likely to lock you up.

      • H says:

        Oh, and you know what? You’re exactly the type of Democrat I’m talking about. You want to trivialize my very real concerns and make jokes about it. So, I am completely willing to help the Republicans come after you.

    • Bijan Parsia says:

      It’s very clear that the Democratic coalition has completely abandoned the notion of due process. Yes, there are a few organizations (such as the ACLU) that are still fighting. And some of the Netroots (such as Glenn Greenwald) are still fighting. But the Democratic base, the Democratic leadership and the Democratic activists by and large don’t care any more. And that puts me and mine at risk.

      Hi! Iranian-American here. Was in secondary school all through the hostage crises.

      Your fears are clearly overblown in the best case (for them). And, more realistically, Republican’s are clearly hugely worse on this both in and out of power (yes, who tried to close Guantanemo and which side defends internment).

      Bush actually was rhetorically pretty good about this immediately after 9/11. He at least tried to tamp down vigilantism inside the US. We know how well that worked outside the US of course.

      Also, how is voting green a winning or remotely helpful strategy? Most effective case you get Romney which, even if Obama and Romney were exactly the same on rounding up brown people (which neither are going to do in any wholesale way), are hugely different on everything else.

      It’s not like this is abstract for me. The chances of bombing Iran are far higher than mass internment camps in the US. (And that such intenrment camps would be indifferent between Arabs/Muslims and Indian/Hindu or Latino is silly; at least at scale.) However, Obama is more likely to “merely” use sanctions (which is bad enough!). And it’s still better to vote for the lessor evil. How does it help Iran that Medicare gets killed?

      • Tracy Lightcap says:

        And, I might add, which political campaign has an advisory committee on “interrogation policy” that has come down in favor of rescinding all of Obama’s executive orders constraining the use of torture by the CIA and the armed forces? Why, that would be The Mittster, of course.

        Talk about a reason to vote for Obama! Putting the secret prisons back on line would be the biggest step backward for “due process” and civil liberties since Dubya gave the orders approving them. You want to protect you and yours? Then start by waking up.

      • H says:

        What? Are you serious? They rounded people up after the 9/11 attacks. I guess you were fortunate that you didn’t get caught up in it. Just because you personally don’t have to deal with this crap, that doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t. You might try exploring the world and see what other people have to deal with before you start lecturing people. Try not to be so self-centered.

        And, I never said voting Green was a winning strategy. I said it was a nihilistic strategy. If the Democrats are going to come after me and mine, then I’m going after them.

        • Cheap Wino says:

          The Democrats rounded people up after 9/11?

        • Scott S. says:

          nihilistic strategy

          Definite Republican troll.

        • Bijan Parsia says:

          What? Are you serious?

          Yes, but I’m not clear that you are.

          They rounded people up after the 9/11 attacks.

          What? There were no mass internment camps of people living in the US. What world are you living in?

          I guess you were fortunate that you didn’t get caught up in it.

          Were you?

          Arab and Arab/Muslim “looking” people in the US suffered quite a bit after 9/11 but very little was government driven (mostly minor hate crimes) and none of it was rounding people up into internment camps.

          Really, there’s no need to wildly exaggerate.

          Just because you personally don’t have to deal with this crap, that doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t.

          You already said that you didn’t. Only that you feared you would have to in the future under certain circumstances.

          You might try exploring the world and see what other people have to deal with before you start lecturing people.

          This is very good advice. For you. You also might try distinguishing reality from your fantasy.

          Try not to be so self-centered.

          Again, really excellent advice. For you. Each of your posts is exactly an exercise in a rather bizarre mix of self-centeredness, selfishness, and a paranoia. Not a winning mix, I’m afraid.

          And, I never said voting Green was a winning strategy. I said it was a nihilistic strategy. If the Democrats are going to come after me and mine, then I’m going after them.

          For all the good it does you. Have fun!

      • bradp says:

        And, more realistically, Republican’s are clearly hugely worse on this both in and out of power (yes, who tried to close Guantanemo and which side defends internment).

        Don’t underestimate some Democrats’ desire to appear tough on terrorism.

      • Cheap Wino says:

        It is amazing how much what I would think would be blatantly obvious evidence that you have to ignore to decide Romney is going to be better on civil rights or humanist issues than Obama. It’s not complex or hidden info and is so widely available. Ostrich complex. Thanks a lot Glenn Greenwald.

        We’ll see if you get a reply that amounts to anything more than, “Shut up, you don’t understand.”

    • cyntax says:

      Cornel West has some advice for you:

      So voting for Obama is good strategy given the realities of the world?
      A Romney administration would be a catastrophic response to an already catastrophic condition. I still get in a lot of trouble with my left-wing comrades on this—that I would still support Obama winning while continuing to tell the truth about drones dropping bombs on innocent people, which I consider war crimes, about the Wall Street government, about the refusal to close Guantanamo, about [section] 1021 of the National Authorization Act where you can detain citizens without trial or even assassinate citizens based on the decisions of the executive branch. All of those things to me are morally obscene. It’s a matter of telling that truth, strategically. I think we have to ensure that we don’t have a takeover by conservative right-wing or we’re in a world of trouble….

      • Malaclypse says:

        So does Noam Chomsky:

        “Between the two choices that are presented, there is I think some significant differences,” he said. “If I were a person in a swing state, I’d vote against Romney-Ryan, which means voting for Obama because there is no other choice. I happen to be in a non-swing state, so I can either not vote or — as a probably will — vote for [Green Party candidate] Jill Stein.”

        • DrDick says:

          Nice to know that there are actual leftist realists (besides you and me) who understand that there is no issue on which Romney is “to the left of Obama” and that he is substantially to the right on most issues.

      • Aaron Morrow says:

        “the refusal to close Guantanamo”

        I still say that is the fault of Democratic Senators who wouldn’t override a filibuster, but I will accept that it is the fault of Obama’s Earth-2 Green Lantern ring, which is powerless against Joe Lieberman’s wooden head.

        (Scott Adams is a conservative. If he has libertarian leanings, he is a conservative first and foremost.)

    • Marc says:

      I must have missed the 2001 domestic internment camps.

      I must also have missed the place where you explained what a great idea it is to promote the election of the people more likely to be hostile to your interests.

      But that’s assuming that you’re actually sincere, which I rather doubt.

    • Darkrose says:

      Hey, guess what–I’m brown too! And I don’t have to wonder about my people being put into indefinite detention because it’s been happening for years and nobody gave a shit. But you go, with your bad righteous “Wait, there’s racism in this country?! Who knew!” self.

    • Prodigal says:

      Voting for the party that is more likely to support efforts to lock up yourself and your family sure will show those Democrats, yesiree!

  26. Steve LaBonne says:

    Every word of this post is true, and yet it’s also true that Obama quite needlessly opened himself to this kind of thing by his terrible record in this and other areas.

    • Cody says:

      I’m skeptical that any significant group of people are not voting for Obama based on marijuana.

      Which is obviously why he’s awful at it: There is no upside in supporting it. He would gain like 10 votes!

      • Steve LaBonne says:

        But it’s also a case where there’s no downside to doing the right thing(nobody in the reefer madness crowd was voting for him anyway)- and I’m merely talking about refraining from the kind of heavy-handed enforcement that’s happening in California, not anything actually courageous. Is doing the right thing even at no cost now too much to expect of a politician?

        • bradp says:

          Is doing the right thing even at no cost now too much to expect of a politician?

          Its certainly too much for us to expect at this point.

          If anything Obama coming out on the right side of marijuana would assuage some cynicism about government among disenfranchised groups.

          • Brandon C. says:

            He would get a lot more young people who feel like there is no point in voting out to vote for him too. I think people want something they can believe in and if 2008 was any indication, thats at least partly on the mark. You couldn’t move down the roads of my university when he was elected because of all the people cheering in the streets. The youth are really overwhelmingly for this, and I don’t think most of their parents give enough of a damn for it to sway their votes.

        • But it’s also a case where there’s no downside to doing the right thing

          Voters are only one force in a democracy. There are also institutionalized interests.

          Look at the Border Patrol agents who filed a suit in federal court over his “Dream Act by executive order” policy.

      • Marc says:

        I think the actual explanation is pretty simple: People in the administration have convinced them that there is some organized crime element tied to quasi-legal marijuana. So they’re focusing on this, and because they’re competent they’re actually executing it properly. The Bush people were simply too clueless to properly do the same thing. The byproducts are bad, and of course it’s prohibition itself that is the problem. But there are some actual problems associated with the wierd legal limbo of medical pot.

        It has little or nothing to do with hostility to pot use per se. It is true that he’s invested no actual capital in legalization, but that just makes him the same as essentially every other politician.

        • DocAmazing says:

          It’s true: there is plenty of Mexican drug cartel involvement in large-scale outdoor grow operations, especially in national parks. What’s that got to do with raids on dispendaries? That’s like deciding to go after bootleggers by raiding a liquor store.

  27. bradp says:

    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. He might find it “economical” to use federal resources in other ways than attacking California voters. And he is vocal about promoting states’ rights, so he’s got political cover for ignoring dispensaries in states where medical marijuana is legal.

    I’m don’t what he is saying we can’t be sure of.

    Yes, Romney a pandering pragmatist with a state’s rights and economic argument providing cover for being better on federal drug crack downs.

    But the base he panders to is fairly dispicable.

  28. SteveNYC says:

    I bet Dogbert’s not voting for Romney.

  29. Bitter Scribe says:

    Adams is an extremely talented and hysterically funny cartoonist who really should STFU about politics. Every time he opens his mouth he seems to embarrass himself.

    • Bill Murray says:

      i think he’s the Jonah Goldberg of cartooning as much of his best work comes from people telling him what stuff happened at their work. Not that this isn’t very funny.

  30. DocAmazing says:

    Y’know, this thread is afflicted with the same problem that plagues nearly every discussion of marijuana: fits of the giggles. Most commenters are taking the view that marijuana legalization is the province of the stoned; that this is mere Cheech and Chong activism.

    Not true.

    There are a great many people with neuropathic pain, AIDS wasting syndrome, chemotherapy-induced nausea and a host of other serious health problems who rely on their pot for relief. Are there abuses of the medical marijuana system? Sure. There are also people who abuse cough syrup; that doesn’t make all people with coughs purple drank fanciers.

    The administration really miscalculated on this one: they took on sick people. The optics on that are horrendous. Is it any wonder that Obama’s support has taken a hit, so to speak?

    • bradp says:

      750,000 people were arrested in 2010 for simple possession.

      Tens of thousands of people are in prison (not jails) on prison charges.

      I appreciate the arguments from a medical standpoint, but the impacts on the province of the stoned should be enough to convince people on their own.

    • Cody says:

      He’s taken a hit on this?

      Anyone who has a fleeting hope of legalizing marijuana isn’t going to vote for a Republican unless they were already going to.

      Didn’t California attempt to legalize marijuana through a referendum that soundly lost?

      I don’t think there is really this mythical large segment of the electorate just begging for someone to legalize marijuana. Sure, there are people who want to. Sure, their votes would be nice.

      If Obama was exposed as not going after “illegal marijuana” centers, you can bet Republicans would be running non-stop “Soft on Crime; Soft on Terror”.

      We all know it doesn’t matter if it’s true – not enough people care about this issue. I see there as little to gain by championing marijuana.

      • DocAmazing says:

        “Championing” and “authorizing raids” have a lot of ground between them.

        • No, not really. Law enforcement enforces the law, and they don’t need to get the President’s signature to do so.

          Obama isn’t taking any action to “authorize” the raids. Law enforcement is doing so on their own, in accordance with federal law.

          For Obama to put a stop to federal law enforcement conducting these raids, he would have to act affirmatively to order them to stop, and would be ordering them not to enforce federal law – which comes awfully close to “championing.”

      • I don’t think there is really this mythical large segment of the electorate just begging for someone to legalize marijuana.

        This is an issue, like a flag-burning law, that has broad but shallow support. Something like half the population wants to legalize marijuana, but the number of people for whom that is a top-tier issue, or who will hold it against Obama that he is not stopping the enforcement of existing law, is miniscule.

  31. actor212 says:

    This is the third site I’ve read this story on, and the concommitant commentary.

    And yet, I’m always the first to point out that, factually, without any interpretation, Scott Adams is flat out wrong: Romney WILL pursue pot-smokers.

    That’s the facts, jack. He’ll round them up himself if he has to

  32. Scott Adams says:

    Fact checking:

    1. Didn’t say Romney was likely to be soft of drugs. Said the opposite.
    2. Don’t deny global warming. Said the opposite.
    3. Don’t deny evolution meets the scientific standard to be called a fact.
    4. Didn’t compare women to mentally handicapped. See it in context.
    5. Didn’t use a sock puppet as I understand the term. Did use an alias to correct bad rumors such as the ones I am correcting now. Big difference.
    6. Did call myself a genius under my alias. Still think it
    was funny. If you ever get a chance to argue with strangers about yourself while disguised, you should do it.
    Very fun.

    • 1. Didn’t say Romney was likely to be soft of drugs. Said the opposite.

      No you did not.

    • Malaclypse says:

      Didn’t use a sock puppet as I understand the term.

      Please do the world a favor, and never explain how you use a sock puppet “as you understand the term.”

    • Bijan Parsia says:

      Ok, my check on Adams’ checks:

      1. Half true:

      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. He might find it “economical” to use federal resources in other ways than attacking California voters. And he is vocal about promoting states’ rights, so he’s got political cover for ignoring dispensaries in states where medical marijuana is legal.

      This suggests that Romney is more likely than Obama to continue those drug policies. So, still a bit nutsy.

      2. Seems true.

      The earth is getting warmer, and human activity is an important part of it. I base this conclusion on the lack of credible peer reviewed work to the contrary and the mountain of work that confirms human-induced warming. While individual studies might be wrong, it’s extremely unlikely the entire field has been so thoroughly duped.

      There’s some denier friendliness overall, but overall this is quite correct.

      (Breaking it up to keep out of moderation.)

    • Bijan Parsia says:

      3. False, though with weaselling and incoherence:

      I just think that evolution looks like a blend of science and bullshit, and have predicted for years that it would be revised in scientific terms in my lifetime. It’s a hunch – nothing more.

      To be fair, there’s still plenty of evidence for evolution. It’s not going away anytime soon. But personally, I’m cautious about any theory that keeps the same conclusion regardless of how many times the evidence for it changes.

      He’s definitely confusing the fact of evolution and common descent with a panoply of things about mechanisms, patterns, etc.

      4. True, but denied.

      The reality is that women are treated differently by society for exactly the same reason that children and the mentally handicapped are treated differently. It’s just easier this way for everyone. You don’t argue with a four-year old about why he shouldn’t eat candy for dinner. You don’t punch a mentally handicapped guy even if he punches you first. And you don’t argue when a women tells you she’s only making 80 cents to your dollar. It’s the path of least resistance. You save your energy for more important battles.

      The denial:

      I realize I might take some heat for lumping women, children and the mentally handicapped in the same group. So I want to be perfectly clear. I’m not saying women are similar to either group. I’m saying that a man’s best strategy for dealing with each group is disturbingly similar. If he’s smart, he takes the path of least resistance most of the time, which involves considering the emotional realities of other people.

      But the denial reaffirms, right? The “emotional realities”, for Adams,of women, children, and the mentally handicapped generate the same best strategy. (BTW, the attitude toward children and mentally handicapped people is really awful.)

      • Scott Lemieux says:

        If I understand, his defense is that he didn’t directly compare women to children or the mentally handicapped — he just said that since women are fundamentally too emotional and irrational to understand his brilliant dismissals of employment discrimination — if they were rational, they would agree with him, you see — they should be treated like children. It’s…not much of a defense.

        • Bijan Parsia says:

          It ranks right up there with the “I did not use a sock puppet, I just used an alias to argue my case and say nice things about me” defense or the “I had my not-a-sock-puppet say I was a genius because it’s funny! har har” defense.

      • Totally not a sock puppet says:

        Adams says women, children and handicapped people should all be treated exactly the same, for exactly the same reasons, but that in no way means Adams is comparing them.

    • Bijan Parsia says:

      5. No idea what Adams’ undertanding of what a sock puppet is. I presume, however, this is a way of denying that he made a sock puppet, but:

      And the last piece of context is that I created you, PlannedChaos, specifically to say things that are relevant to the debate but would be grossly inappropriate for me to say about myself. By analogy, if critics of President Obama start calling him stupid, it wouldn’t be appropriate for him to whip out his SAT scores. But if one of his spokespeople reminds the public that the President has a law degree from Harvard, which by any objective measure puts him in the genius category, that’s a legitimate response. Context is everything.

      And that’s being a sock puppet (wikipedia):

      A sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception. The term—a reference to the manipulation of a simple hand puppet made from a sock—originally referred to a false identity assumed by a member of an internet community who spoke to, or about himself while pretending to be another person.

      In essence, he’s claiming that sockpuppetry is reasonable behavior in some cases, but he is unwilling to say so per se.

      6. The implied thing is that it was purely a joke. Given the discussion above (and in the rest of the article), I’m pretty skeptical that it was a self-deprecating joke rather than an attempt to win gone wrong. Obviously, there’s no way to check that I’m right, but given that Adams even in these few examples has a striking history of trying to deny the plain meaning of what he’s said, I think I’m sticking with it.

      • Hogan says:

        By analogy, if critics of President Obama start calling him stupid, it wouldn’t be appropriate for him to whip out his SAT scores. But if one of his spokespeople reminds the public that the President has a law degree from Harvard, which by any objective measure puts him in the genius category, that’s a legitimate response.

        In other words, if you have no friends, it’s perfectly OK to pretend that you do.

    • Prodigal says:

      “Didn’t say Romney was likely to be soft of drugs. Said the opposite.”

      So you argued that A: Cracking down on marijuana is a firing offense, and B: Romney would be worse than Obama about cracking down on marijuana, meaning that he’d be even worse about committing said firing offense than Obama, therefore C: You’re voting for the guy who by your own stated standards deserves the job even less?

    • John Wilkes Booth says:

      I did not assassinate Lincoln, as I understand the term.

  33. H says:

    Well, I wasn’t trolling, but this thread has been very instructive. You all could choose to protect my rights, but it’s very clear that you are happy to throw me under the bus. And I will repay the favor. As Mr. Kahn, or Mr. Ahab said, “For hate’s sake…” I will do my best to help the Republicans come after all of you immoral stains who trivialized my concerns. Bring it on.

    • LPBB says:

      Seriously? Seriously?

      The only reason that I’m engaging with you is because the Ravens have been replaced with Pod people and the only other option is to repeatedly bang my head into a brick wall.

      My rights are already under attack.

      When one of Romney’s Supreme Court justices signs off on rounding up brown people for indefinite internment, don’t come crying to me because I’ll already be interned myself — either for the holocaust of murdered potential zygotes occurring in my uterus thanks to my IUD or for simply trying to live as if it’s the fucking 21st century and I can control my own goddam fertility.

    • Bijan Parsia says:

      Well, I wasn’t trolling

      This isn’t supported by the evidence. Nor would it be to your favor if you weren’t.

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