Wednesday, June 06, 2012

We are all Pauline Kael now...

So yesterday the left side of the political spectrum was abuzz with the crushing defeat about to be handed to the Tea Bagger's idol, Governor Walker of Wisconsin. The voice of the people was going to be heard!

Well, the voice of the people was heard, alright, only it didn't say what the HuffPo crowd wanted it to say. Now they sulk that it really is "too hard to fire a rotten public sector employee," and go back to their online echo chambers and complain that the election must have been rigged, because not one person they knew was going to vote for Walker! Why, they took a straw poll in the checkout line at Whole Foods and only one person admitted that she was going to vote Republican, and every single one of the commenters on their locavore blog supported Barrett, to say nothing of all their fellow volunteers at the feral cat spay & neuter clinic!

Similarly, if the only time someone turns off talk radio is to post on Free Republic about something they saw on The O'Reilly Factor, they are sure that there must be some skullduggery going on in the recall process. Nobody they knew wanted to recall Walker, so where did all those signatures come from? The unions must have turned out for Barrett!

Of course they did, but that's as much of a whine as the other team bitching about fat cat capitalists donating gazillions more to Walker than to his challenger. Thank goodness that the margin was convincing enough not to need a recount, because that brings out the crybaby in whoever loses like nothing else. Okay, everybody, let's get back to our echo chambers and agree about what these results mean!


og said...

What's really a miracle is the numbers they managed to come across with despite the busloads of wisonsonites-in-spirit that were taken to Wisconsin to "Assist" (Due to wisconsin law, you can register and vote on the same day with some fairly specious ID).

Today is a good day.

Joe in PNG said...

Here's to hoping that the Stupid Party is getting the message that there may just be something in this whole "cutting and shrinking the goverment" thing.

Bob said...

Thank goodness that the margin was convincing enough not to need a recount, because that brings out the crybaby in whoever loses like nothing else.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but when the Democrats lose the margin has to exceed 5% to prevent the manufacturers of bogus votes - - er, I mean to say, the discoverers of lost votes from working their magic.

Damn, I wish Blogger allowed the strikeout tag in comments. :(

Joseph said...

Joe in PNG said...
Here's to hoping that the Stupid Party is getting the message...

You aren't being nearly specific enough sir. If I recall, the deficit grew a bunch with Reagan, grew some more with Shrub Sr, even more with Shrub Jr. Now I get that the dude in office today with the donkey tattoo on his keister has redefined deficit spending like Barney Frank made a beer bet that he couldn't quadruple the deficit in 3 years. I can hear it now "...and if by some chance you convince congress to quadruple the deficit in 3 years, I'll retire!"

Yep, they are all about big, stinky government anymore, it's just a matter of where all the pretend money is going. When I pull the lever in November, do I want Big Oil and Big Military to get the money or Big Pharma and Big Green to get it?

Ed Foster said...

The echo chamber meme is central to understanding the entire mess, and it's only going to become stronger as the media fragments endlessly.

I can now hear only the kind of music I want to hear, on a computer service that tracks what I listen to and fine tunes what I am presented. I've unintentionally done the same thing with the political end of the Sirius spectrum by programming favorites on speed selection.

I'm as guilty as any. I contract in several defense/firearms/aerospace jobshops, where the only Democrats are blue collar immigrant women in the packing and shipping department, all of whom think we need a strong leader to move us safely through a world without guns, soldiers, armed police, or hunting.

One more reason to restrict immigration to young, unmarried people with desperately needed high tech skills and leave the chaff behind.

I've tried to reason with them, but they "know" we could make as much money producing can openers or blow torches as we do cranking out those icky jet engine, helicopter, and gun parts for those scary people in uniforms.

"Used to was" that upscale city people clustered intellectually, associating only with close peers in all their petty predjudices, a masturbatory and sociopathic commingling that said "I am the center of the world, and anyone different from me/us is a drooling savage to be ignored".

Rural and small town people developed a sense of community, encompassing the banker's son and the retarded kid, the town drunk and the sherriff.

Given the degree of intermarriage after a few generations, and the greater worth of a single individual in a small group, a sense of extended family loyalty developed, encompassing a wide span of behaviors.

At it's worst case, a parochial and isolated noyau evolved, a group of people who played by their own rules and weren't competitive when the "real" world encroached.

But by and large, non-urban life produced a person who fitted the Jeffersonian mold rather well. "Works hard, and plays well with others".

Now, even traditional America is fracturing under the onslaught of big government and electronic schitzophrenia.

Illegitimacy is a fourth of child births among whites, more than half among Hispanics, and better than 80% among African-Americans, as the Welfare Department supplants the nuclear family, breeding ever increasing generations of bureaucrat dependent drones.

An occasional illegitimate child can be raised to responsible adulthood by an extended conventional family, but when it becomes the norm, when Mommy is shacked up with somebody new every four months, Grandma is dating her third boyfriend of the year, and Grandpa is pissing away his Social Security check on beer and weed, Junior ends up a strident Democrat.

I run a small bumper sticker business on the side. My latest is "Turn Off Your TV, Or You're The Boob The Networks Think You Are".

staghounds said...

I am a bit surprised that the headlines aren't

"Democrat Lehman Wins in Wisconsin Recall!!"

Mike Gallo said...

Tam, I think you underestimate the amount of vote fraud that has happened historically here in WI. Hell, in 2000 WI went to Gore by a few thousand votes, whereas there were nearly 10K more votes than registered voters in the City of Milwaukee tally alone. Whence came these extra votes?

We've been burned before, and with the suspension of parts of our new voter ID law (mimics yours in IN) by a Madison judge, we were fully expecting it again.

I understand where you're coming from (echo chamber and all, of course I understand), but please know that in WI a) there was rampant fraud during the recall petition process, and b) there was rampant fraud in yesterday's election, just not enough this time.

All that said, dollars to donuts you could correlate election time in Milwaukee and Madison to the increased purchase of cartons of cigarettes by people with out-of-state IDs...

mikee said...

Feral Cat Spay & Neuter Clinic:
I know all about this! For one year the idea that keeping a few spayed/neutered feral cats around would reduce the overall population and prevent more litters made sense to me. It seemed to work at a rental house I owned. The tenant diligently live-trapped the kitties, had them spayed for free at the local shelter, and released one male back to the wild. That cat held the territory for the winter.

This spring when the local cat ladies again put out food for all feral comers, there were at least 3 and maybe 7 litters in blocks around my house. The sole spayed cat was run off during the population explosion, and we are right back to the overpopulation we had before.

I suggested a suppressed 22LR pistol to the tenant, who is considering it.

I hereby retract any and all defenses of the program I made previously, when the short term effect was positive. Over the longer term, it seems not to work.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant post; thanks.

erich martell
albuquerque, nm

Anonymous said...

Good thing there are no Libertarian echo chambers on the internets, huh?

All that well-founded preening about how superior their worldview is mixed with not the slightest intention or clue as to how to implement it could get pretty darn screechy and annoying.


Josh Kruschke said...

The 11 Laws of The Fifth Discipline

1. Today's problems come from yesterday's "solutions."
2. The harder you push, the harder the system pushes back.
3. Behavior grows better before it grows worse.
4. The easy way out usually leads back in.
5. The cure can be worse than the disease.
6. Faster is slower.
7. Cause and effect are not always closely related in time and space.
8. Small changes can produce big results...but the areas of highest leverage are often the least obvious.
9. You can have your cake and eat it too ---but not all at once.
10. Dividing an elephant in half does not produce two small elephants.
11. There is no blame.

Tam said...


"Good thing there are no Libertarian echo chambers on the internets, huh? "

What? Who said that?

Friend, there's an echo chamber for every possible frequency on the audio spectrum: If you only want to hang out with ambidextrous Green furries who like reggae and snowboarding and breed Malamutes, there's probably a forum for it. And belonging to it will make you think that the world contains a lot more of you than it does.

Josh Kruschke said...

In a closed system you have three posibilities.

Diminishing, balancing or self-regulating, or self-reinforcing also known as a feed back loop.

We all need to be on the look out for our assumptions and biases; as these are our blindspots this can be deficult to achieve.

Josh Kruschke said...


Libertarians are not about, or shouldn't be about, pushing there world view on anyone.
It is, or should be, about saying you can believe what ever you want to up intill you try to force me to believe the same.

Then we are going to have a problem, It is what annoys me about a lot of the Ron Paul sopporters. They don't seem to get it.

Anonymous said...


Well that's a real connundrum, isn't it? If you cannot manage to gather the gumption to "push" and implement a worldview that allows for everyone to do whatever they believe (within Constitutional bounds), you automatically cede control of the rules to the statists on the religious right or the socialist left.


Anonymous said...

I dont know what you're talking about.
CBS just did a comprehensive poll of 100 never-employed registered Democrats over 35 and Obama was favored over Nixon by 10 points.
Next you'll be saying polling isn't relevant.

RL said...

Seen in another thread: "what is best in life? To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women."

Anonymous said...

That's why I hate politics.

The instinct for tribalism and prejudice we have precludes rationality in politics.

Then there is the perennial problem of politics. Supposed politcritters have to choose from themselves a representative or appointee, someone with more responsibility and authority . Suppose you can rate them on ability and call them P1 P2 and P3, where P1 is the smartest one.

Naturally, the smartest ones make the smallest fraction.

P2 knows that choosing P1 would likely be the best for the party.
However, that would diminish his chances for getting something out of politics. P3 also knows this.

So it's perfectly understandable why P2 and P3 will make sure P1 doesn't get to have more authority.

So, democracy is likely to breed mediocrity.

@Ed Foster

I run a small bumper sticker business on the side. My latest is "Turn Off Your TV, Or You're The Boob The Networks Think You Are".

Be happy. Boob-tube viewership is going down, with a complete crash in advertising rates predicted in late teens.

-A self-less* man

*note for objectivists. By self-less I mean I have no sense of self, not that I'm not a selfish cunt who only ever helps people if there's something in it for him.

RWC said...

Well, all the death threats should keep Holder and the DOJ busy.

oh, wait.

Joe in PNG said...

Another though- what happened to the almost unstoppable team that gave us Obama '08? Axlerod, Wasserman-Shultz, Obama and the rest seem to be trying to top each other in a "biggest clown of the universe" contest. Those with any competence appearently have either bailed out (Rahm) or are working against Obama's re-election (Clinton). When the smart guys who make Machievelli look like Pollyanna jumped ship, you know the SS Obama is getting ready to go under.

Josh Kruschke said...

Xman -

You seem to be implying that I lack gumption, and that to insure my rights I must inslave others to my will.

The constitution is their to set up and spell out the powers of thr Federal government. The Bill of Rights is protect me and my rights from the Federal government and to protect the Soverty of the States, which over the years has been water down.

One of those rights is my right to speak my mind, and another of those is my right to life and the right to defended it.

I can chose to try to convince those around me my way is the right one by action, deeds and words, but as soon as I try to use force or the treat of force I have now crossed over a line. And just as I have the right to defend myself against a use of force aganst me, they would be in the right to defend against my use of force.

So, I will not follow or use the tactics of violating others right just to get my way. I will not fall into the trap of, "This is for your own good!"

That would make me no better than Bloomberg.

Tam said...

Joe in PNG,

My paranoid theory all along is that whoever's in the big chair when the tidal wave hits is going to look like mud.

This is why I don't think any but the crazy or narcissistic even stepped forward for the GOP this election cycle; nobody sane wanted to grab a brass ring with 10,000 volts running through it.

Obama figures he's going to get splashed no matter what, and his only hope is to lash himself to the mast and ride it out, praying for a miracle. (And besides, if there's a crippling, riots-in-the-streets depression going on, the White House'd be a pretty swell place to ride it out, a lot better than the South Side of Chicago.)

Some of the more loyal Dem party animals are taking a long view, and would rather see the other team take the hit, because whoever gets offered as NeoRoosevelt in 2016 is going to demolish 2012's NeoHoover, no matter which party the two are from.

RKN said...

Libertarianism is less about "implementing" policies and more about limiting them.

Josh Kruschke said...

Tam -

It depends on if Mitt places it safe, if he does it will probable go the way you say. If he takes bold action to reduce government spending and overreach, not sure if he's got it in him, and there is reasults, I think he would get a second turm.

I'm plaining on voting Gary Johnson or for O. To me Mitt's to much of a statist to be put in charge with contorl of both houses of congress.

These are my curent thoughts pn these matters.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Or, Josh, maybe you could just not vote.

Jayson said...

So you're maybe going to vote for Obama because Mitt's too much of a statist?

What the what, now?

Anonymous said...

Similarly, if the only time someone turns off talk radio is to post on Free Republic about something they saw on The O'Reilly Factor, they are sure that there must be some skullduggery going on in the recall process."

Yeah, they put up stuff like this on right-wing sites all the time.

Mike James

Buzz said...

Joseph, you blamed the prez at the time, then properly identified congress as the origin of deficits.

Yes, it's congress to blame and the Stupid Party damned well better take note of Wisconsin: despite huge numbers of fraudulent recall petition signatures and voters, enough people STILL spoke for financial responsibility to drown them out.

Sadly, though, the Repubs lost their way after the contract, muddling through the W years, giving way to the Frank-Dodd-Waters sub-prime fiasco that got us where we are.

Joe in PNG said...

Tam- I'm also partial to the thought that Ol'Bill wants to regain control of the Democratic party, and for that to happen, Barry has to lose. Plus, I don't think that the Clintons are known for their forgiveness or mercy, and what a great way to get revenge for 2008.
And where else is the Evil Party to turn if Obama goes down? Back to Ol'Bill.

Josh Kruschke said...


Which presumptive GOP canidate signed into law a permanent assault rifle ban and Romneycare?

Yes Mitt's all to comfortable using government force to get what he wants.

He talks a good game, but actions speak louder than words.

Josh Kruschke said...

Fuzzy to manny people died for my right to vote. I will do with it the best that I can, but I will vote.


Gnarly Sheen said...

The entire thing was worth it if only because this video was born out of it:

Brad K. said...

@ Joe in PNG,

"Here's to hoping that the Stupid Party is getting the message that there may just be something in this whole "cutting and shrinking the government" thing."

I am hoping that people that think that traditionally Republican values and ideals are better, will recognize that the folks leading the way are following the Stupid Party map -- and cut the bums off at the knees, and create some responsible leaders with honor, character, and goals and ideals that reflect traditionally Republican attributes.

The Stupid Party bozos-in-charge (my apologies for maligning clowns and clownish figures) have proven exceptionally resistant to learning any kind of lesson.

steve l said...

It depends on if Mitt places it safe

my present pet peeve is the bipartisan fault of overstating and overinvesting in the power of the presidency. Politics is ever ongoing, we will never be happy with it, and we will always be struggling to better it, and that struggle must be waged all the way down to the dogcatcher.

Silver bullets are for werewolves, anyone who thinks a single person can plop us in the promised land or slide us to perdition, well, I've got this really nice bridge in the northeast you might like; price recently reduced.

Josh Kruschke said...

As the guy in charge of the operational side of the Fedral Gov. there is quite a bit he can do to reign in spending, reduce or eliminate regulations and departments if need be. Kick the treasure and Fed in the ass. Anothing says it would be easy. That economic plan Mitt put out was just more of the same but less of it.

He not just a figurehead.