How well do we liberals know how to read?


Excerpting Richard Cohen: Richard Cohen incited more rage from us liberals this week.

He managed to do so in a column which pretty much savaged the tea party. The column appeared in Tuesday’s Washington Post.

Did Cohen really attack the tea party in the column which made us so mad? Yes, he did, without using the name, except in the headline. He focused on those culturally conservative Iowa Republicans who, he said, will never go for Chris Christie.

Below, you see the first two-thirds of the column, the part which hasn’t been cut-and-pasted by us irate liberals. Presumably, we can all see who Cohen is attacking here.

He’s attacking the “many Iowa conservatives” who favor hopefuls like Cruz and Perry. Presumably, we can all see that:
COHEN (11/12/13): The day after Chris Christie, the cuddly moderate conservative, won a landslide reelection as the Republican governor of Democratic New Jersey, I took the Internet Express out to Iowa, surveying its various newspapers, blogs and such to see how he might do in the GOP caucuses, won last time by Rick Santorum, neither cuddly nor moderate. Superstorm Sandy put Christie on the map. The winter snows of Iowa could bury him.

From a Web site called the Iowa Republican, I learned that part of the problem with John McCain and Mitt Romney, seriatim losers to Barack Obama, "is they were deemed too moderate by many Iowa conservatives." The sort of candidates Iowa Republicans prefer have already been in the state. The blog cited Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah (considered to the right of Cruz, if such a thing is possible), Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the party's recent vice presidential candidate and its resident abacus, and the inevitable Sarah Palin, the Alaska quitter who, I think, actually now lives in Arizona. If this is the future of the GOP, then it's in the past.

None of these candidates bears the slightest resemblance to Christie. And the more literate of them—that's not you, Palin—must have chortled over post-election newspaper columns extolling Christie as precisely the sort of candidate the GOP ought to run in 2016. This is the dream of moderate Republicans, but not many of them vote in the Iowa caucuses or the South Carolina primary, two of the early nominating contests.

At the moment, it is Cruz, not Christie, who has seized the imagination of Iowa Republicans. Cruz has not only been to the state, but he also was accompanied by his evangelist father, Rafael, a colorful preacher who opposes almost anything, including, of course, same-sex marriage. ("It was Adam and Eve, it was not Adam and Steve," he recently said.)

Cruz the younger is not merely tea party to the nth degree, he is a Christian conservative as well—and for 22 percent of Iowa's "likely 2016 caucusgoers," polled by the Des Moines Register, that's who they think stands the best chance of winning the presidency. The No. 1 choice (44 percent) was "a candidate focused on civil liberties and a small government rooted in the U.S. Constitution." Christie can passably argue that he is that, but no one is going to call him a Christian conservative. After all, he opposed same-sex marriage in New Jersey, but he acquiesced. Cruz would not to do that. He'd still be talking—and Steve would still be single.

Iowa not only is a serious obstacle for Christie and other Republican moderates, it also suggests something more ominous: the Dixiecrats of old. Officially the States' Rights Democratic Party, they were breakaway Democrats whose primary issue was racial segregation. In its cause, they ran their own presidential candidate, Strom Thurmond, and almost cost Harry Truman the 1948 election. They didn't care. Their objective was not to win—although that would have been nice—but to retain institutional, legal racism. They saw a way of life under attack and they feared its loss.
Presumably, we can all see that Cohen is attacking the conservative Iowa Republicans who favor candidates like Cruz.

Presumably, we can see that it isn’t a compliment when he compares them to “something more ominous, the Dixiecrats of old,” who wanted “to retain institutional, legal racism.”

Sarah Palin is snarked at not once, but twice. We’re told that these Iowa conservatives are living "in the past.”

Presumably, we can all see that Cohen isn’t complimenting these voters for opposing same sex-marriage, like the kooky father of Cruz. Or can we liberals see such things? At this site, we’re no longer sure.

Cohen batted those Iowa conservatives all around the block, often rather unfairly. Then he authored a miscast turn of phrase, and we liberals went nuts.

Our cutting-and-pasting started here, and we even dropped the last part of this paragraph! We highlight the miscast turn of phrase which gave us our chance to emote:
COHEN (continuing directly): Today's GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled—about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York—a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio's wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts—but not all—of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn't look like their country at all.
By the end of that paragraph, it should be obvious, even to us, that Cohen is still savaging “cultural conservatives.” And so, to help us in our fury, we dropped the end of that paragraph when we cut-and-pasted.

We not only ignored the first two-thirds of the column we hate. We couldn’t even bring ourselves to blockquote one full graf!

Everyone knew where the outrage was in that paragraph. Midway through, Cohen had written this: “People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York—a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children.”

Because we’re very, very dumb—because we love our phony racial fury—we agreed to think that Cohen actually meant what that sentence literally said.

Granted: that sentence, standing alone, is almost surely wrong on the facts. Beyond that, it gives almost everyone a chance to feel offended.

If we’re talking about the sweep of the country, “people with conventional views” almost surely aren’t forced “to repress a gag reflex” when considering the marriage between de Blasio and McCray. Just in case any liberals are reading, that is a good thing, of course.

That said, in the context of the full column, do we really think that’s what Cohen meant? Do we think he meant to refer to the conventional views of all Americans? Or did he mean to refer to the conventional views of the Iowa conservatives he was trashing all through his piece?

By the end of that very paragraph, it seems fairly clear, once again, who was actually being trashed, despite the poor sentence construction. By the end of that very paragraph, Cohen is explicitly saying that the marriage in question, which seems like a good one, “doesn't look like their country at all” to cultural conservatives in Iowa—to the same cultural conservatives the entire column has been devoted to trashing.

For ourselves, it seems pretty clear that Cohen must have meant that cultural conservatives have to suppress a gag reflex to that marriage. Like Dave Weigel, we think that claim on Cohen’s part is stupid, unfair, unfounded.

And that does seem to be what he meant.

But we liberals! We’re so in love with our feigned racial outrage, the only political play we know, that we were willing to ignore the context of the entire column. We even eliminated the end of that very paragraph. Good grief! Even Kevin Drum, our sanest player, excerpted Cohen like this:

Iowa not only is a serious obstacle for Christie and other Republican moderates, it also suggests something more ominous: the Dixiecrats of old....Today’s GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled—about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York—a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children.

Full stop. Drum, who is our sanest player, didn’t even go to the end of the paragraph, where Cohen seems to pin that gag reflex on the same “cultural conservatives” he’s been trashing all along.

Now they’ve even got Drum! Or so the analysts cried.

Cohen inserted a highly infelicitous phrase into that column. But are we so in love with our pseudo outrage that we’re forced to play these games?

In truth, we liberals display very little concern about issues involving race. But good God! How we love to act out!

That said, does anyone around here know how to read? Based on the way that column was read, we begin to wonder. For years, we’ve marveled at the way the liberal world didn’t seem to know how to react to the mountains of bullshit dumped on Candidate Gore.

More and more, we’ve reached a strange thought. Our tribe may not be smart enough to sort out bogus paraphrase. It may be that those bogus claims simply went over our heads!

That very strange idea is seeming more and more likely. Can a nation like that survive? A nation whose adults can’t read?

Does Elias Isquith know how to read: To all appearances, Ezra Klein knows how to read.

He did a short post about Cohen’s column, in which he said this:
KLEIN (11/12/13): Given the context of the column, I think that Cohen is using "conventional views" to mean "culturally conservative views." But insofar as "conventional" means "based on or in accordance with what is generally done or believed," acceptance of interracial marriage is overwhelmingly conventional. A July poll from Gallup finds that 87 percent of Americans approve—up from 4 percent in 1959.
Regarding that highlighted statement, let us say this: Duh!

At that point, Klein presented data from Gallup showing the overwhelming “acceptance of interracial marriage.” But people! When Klein explained what he thought Cohen meant “given the context of the column,” he gave a very strong indication that he knows how to read!

Does Elias Isquith know how to read? At Salon, the youngster specifically linked to Klein’s post, but skipped right past the judgment Klein stated! Isquith a) doesn’t know how to read or b) felt the need to emote.

People, we’re all Sean Hannity now! We modern liberals are quite unimpressive. We’re very, very unimpressive and just extremely dumb.


  1. Shorter Richard Cohen:

    When conservatives oppose a minority Democrat like President Obama, that proves conservatives are racists. When liberals oppose a minority Republican like Senator Ted Cruz, that also proves conservatives are racists.

    1. You mean minority as in Canadian?

  2. Who is this "we", Bob? You're no liberal. You're constantly pleading on behalf of the poor, wounded right-wingers. You're the very definition of a "concern troll."

    Furthermore, one of the major reasons people reacted to Cohen's "infelicitous" sentence was because it was only the latest in a long string of sexist, racist, or otherwise "infelicitous" statements he's made over the last few decades. The man has a track record of this crap that goes back to the '80s, which you seem to be choosing to ignore. Why is that?

    1. Who gave you the right to tell Bob what he does or doesn't think?

    2. "Furthermore, one of the major reasons people reacted to Cohen's "infelicitous" sentence was because it was only the latest in a long string of sexist, racist, or otherwise "infelicitous" statements he's made over the last few decades."

      You're overlooking the fact that the "concern trolling" seems to have been among a plethora of liberal media folks who were up at arms over Cohen's representation of a cohort they took to be conservatives in general.

  3. Bone-gnawer is slipping - lets hope the breakdown, hospitalization and rehabilitation occur soon.

    "People, we’re all Sean Hannity now! We modern liberals are quite unimpressive. We’re very, very unimpressive and just extremely dumb."

    He seems to be calling Hannity, who bone-gnawer wants to be when he grows up, dumb.

  4. Bob, the trolling makes all the comments impossible to read. Please start banning the trolls. This is intolerable.

    1. Got a better idea. Let's go back to the thrilling days of yesteryear when the blog wasn't "interactive" and there was no combox. Then the tender sensibilities of Bob's fans wouldn't be confronted with contrary opinions, and they could all read him and marvel at his glorious wisdom.

      All five of them.

    2. I marvel at his glorious wisdom but now have the bonus of marveling at the stupidity and tender sensibilities of commenters like you, 5:13. Clearly you don't like being called out for your embarrassing tribesmen any more than Fox fans do.

    3. Trolling isn't opinion. It is attention-seeking.

    4. And what, pray tell, is trolling about trolling?

    5. 5:19., sorry, but I'm not the one calling for people whose opinions I don't like to be banned.

      You people who constantly whine about "trolls" should be at least honest enough that what you really want banned are opinions that don't fall into the Somerby line.

      At least be honest enough to admit that what you really fear is honest, vigorous debate. Then perhaps we wouldn't have so many "thought police" among Somerby's tribe.

  5. Were any of the Bob-haters here offended by that column? And that particular statement? What are your thoughts on that column?

  6. Ie. Is it super-grotesque racist doggerel in your view? Or close to that?

  7. All communication relies on linguistic charity to smooth over the possibilities for misunderstanding (see Quine and Hilary Putnam). This kind of brouhaha occurs when a group decides to withhold linguistic charity (which interprets what people mean instead of what they literally say) and punishes someone for their misstatements. It is what enabled Obama's people to turn Clinton into a racist despite his lifetime of experiences. It is an ugly game. The question is why Cohen is being singled out here. Is this a feeding frenzy phenomenon where people all pile-on because it feels good to be outraged, or has Cohen done something to merit being ostracized? I don't know enough about the behind-the-scenes politics of his situation to speculate. I do know that whenever a favored person makes such a mistake, it is forgiven and explained away. No such leniency for Cohen. Why?

    1. Cohen has benefited from decades of "leniency." Why? He has made racist and misogynist comments in his columns repeatedly.

    2. I don't know. Why don't you ask Bob.

      Synopsis: Richard Cohen joined yesterday’s pair of scribes in throwing off an historical howler.
      Who Is This Guy?
      Richard Cohen, The Washington Post, 3/2/99

      Richard Cohen was trying to figure what President Clinton is really like. After some comments about Gennifer Flowers, Cohen was flagged by our team of analysts for making this remark:

      COHEN: Then came Paula Jones. I don’t know what happened in that hotel room, but I do know from the testimony of others (an Arkansas state trooper) that Jones was summoned to see Clinton--and it was not to take dictation. What happened next remains a mystery. I only know what I believe. I tend to believe Jones. [Our emphasis]

      And it’s true--pundit Cohen doesn’t know what happened in that hotel room. ...

      COHEN: I have been consistently wrong about Clinton. In his infidelities, I thought he would favor like-minded women--an occasional affair with some assistant professor of government. Gennifer Flowers proved me wrong. I confess to having been surprised. She wasn’t what I expected.

      And indeed, to judge by all appearances, she wasn’t even telling the truth. Cohen doesn’t bother defining what he thinks is the truth about Flowers. ....... Does it surprise you that scribes who accept her tale don’t bother reading transcripts

      13 March 1999
      Our current howler: And that’s the way it seems

      Synopsis: In Friday's Post, Richard Cohen displays the intellectual sloth that typifies the celebrity press.

      MOURNING DELUDES RICHARD COHEN! In a word, their inanity overwhelms. If you ever doubted that, just keep reading

      MOURNING DELUDES RICHARD COHEN: On what planet do these strange creatures dwell? No, we’re not talking about “red state Bush voters” or “blue state Kerry voters,” two groups whose concerns seem recognizable. We’re talking about post-election “liberal” columnists—columnists like the Post’s Richard Cohen. In yesterday’s column, the scribe revealed who the Democrats need. Their perfect candidate? That’s easy! Al Gore:

      COHEN (11/23/99): This is not your father’s Al Gore.
      This is the new model. It is leaner and sleeker, buffed by weightlifting and trimmed by diet. It comes in new colors, too—not a somber Beltway gray but a bold black shirt and khaki pants and, on occasion, cowboy boots. The vice president of the United States is no more. He is now your pal Al.
      Cohen trashed Gore throughout this column. Complaints? Gore was wearing khaki pants! And “on occasion,” he wore cowboys boots!

      There's plenty more where that came from.

  8. Anon 3:35 PM: Could explain why you think what Cohen said was racist?

  9. IMHO the reason many liberals reacted to Cohen's unfair accusation was its clumsy wording. When Cohen called "people with conventional views" racists, his comment could have been misinterpreted to include people with conventional liberal views. If Cohen had been clearer about calling only the Tea Partiers racists, his unfair accusation would likely have passed without comment.

    1. No, Richard Cohen wrote a passage dripping with hate for which there can be no excuse.

    2. "If Cohen had been clearer about calling only the Tea Partiers racists, his unfair accusation would likely have passes without comment."

      Another Karnac moment from this foof.

  10. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York—a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio's wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?)

    [This is thoroughly horrid and thoroughly racist. Simple as that.]

  11. Richard Cohen wrote a passage that was blindingly hate-filled.

  12. Bob, I do not care about the context in this case. When a passage is blindingly hate-filled and use a specific family as an object of hatred, that is beyond any excusing. Such a passage has to be hurtful beyond measure to the people involved, and the passage was hurtful to me.

    1. Is it getting crowded on the fainting couch?

      No families were targeted for hatred. Didja miss the point that that the piece was about the reactions of others?

      And, seriously? You think New York politicians were hurt "beyond measure"?

    2. Cohen writes a column that malevolently mischaracterizes cultural conservatives as being a bunch of reactionary racists.

      (Now that's something you don't see very often from the left...)

      Some liberals get up in arms because they don't gleen that Cohen isn't aiming in general at hinterland folks with convention views, but at politically active cultural conservatives.

      Coincidentally, they've been mad at Cohen for quite awhile, anyway.

      Somerby chides these Cohen critics for misreading Cohen's target, and points out that Cohen is wrong about cultural conservatives.

      The term "concern trolling" is thrown around on the comment board, though it could aptly describe Cohen's critics.


      I suppose this rather hilarious and inane brouhaha makes sense if you're liberal.

    3. And Cecelia, if you bothered to read the "liberal" reaction, including Drum's, that Bob finds so egregious, you will find that they are saying that ALL of America, including "cultural conservatives" have long since moved beyond a gag reflex at the mere thought of a racially mixed married couple with racially mixed children.

      But of course, you wouldn't know that because Bob has already spun for you what they said, and you won't bother reading it for yourself, lest an independent thought creep into what's left of your brain cells.

    4. Umm...Irishguy, Somerby's only statement of Drum is that even this "sanest player" didn't offer up to his readers THE excerpt that proves Cohen used cultural conservatives and 'those with conventional views' interchangeably.

      Did you bother to read the bog at all?

    5. Yes, I did. Did you bother to read Drum's reaction that Bob found so awful?

      If you did, you would find that it is entitled "I Really Hope that Richard Cohen Is Wrong about Iowans."

      Does that sound like a guy who got the "real target" of Cohen's utterly stupid remark wrong?

      Drum follows up the quote from Cohen which Somerby finds egregiously "out of context" with four sentences. Four sentences.

      And here they are:

      "WTF? It's 2013, even in Iowa. This sounds like the reaction of a stone racist, not someone with "conventional views." Does anyone even bother reading this stuff after Cohen turns it in?"

      Now does that sound like a "liberal who can't read"? Of course it does. To you. After all, Somerby says so.

    6. If you read the blog, why is it that you know what Drum wrote, but seem to have no understanding of what Somerby said regarding him, or of the point of the blog?

  13. Oh he managed to gnaw on bone number 1 also:

    "For years, we’ve marveled at the way the liberal world didn’t seem to know how to react to the mountains of bullshit dumped on Candidate Gore."

    We wuz robbed - WHERE IS ZIMMERMAN?

    A familiar internet trope - how come this guy isn't in an asylum?

    Is he going to blame climate change on liberals next?

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Wonder what Bob think of this Nov. 4 column:

    in which the 72-year-old Cohen tells us that, thanks to a movie he's just seen, he's come to realize for the first time in his life that many slaves were not "sort of content" and that slave owners were not "mostly nice people"" BTW, Cohen -- again, he's 72 and a longtime columnist for a major American newspaper -- attributes his lack of knowledge of what slavery was like to what he "learned earlier in my life ... beginning with school." So where did Cohen go to school? In some bastion of the former Confederacy, like South Carolina or Alabama? In that case, his vision of mostly nice slave owners and sort of content slaves might well be rooted in what he was taught in school. But in fact Cohen graduated from Far Rockaway H.S. in Queens. Unbelievable.

  16. Richard Cohen has made a nice living for himself playing the tit for tat game. I tend to think, to the extent it matters, his generally a liberal and doubtfully a racist, at least of the damaging or mean spirited kind.
    He's been getting himself in hot water in this fashion, however, a suspiciously long time, and as Larry Kart's post kind of suggests, the fact that it's an accident strains the credible. Whatever.
    So the Daily Howler is correct in that liberal race hounds are jumping him foolishly. The sad fact is that the Daily Howler, whom consistently explains that conservative white racism, when it does appear is A) not there, or B) to be ignored: so he has become a terrible judge in these matters of little import.

  17. I tend to take your side on this, Bob. But, doesn't anyone edit any more?
    The old English teacher in me comes out when I wonder why the term "cultural conservatives" aren't clearly delineated in the disputed paragraph in the column. I would ask Cohen if he means the people that he has been criticizing or a larger, more inclusive group. I also wonder what the writer meant by, "Should I mention . . ." Mention to whom? Is "I"the writer or a fictional cultural conservative? Is the writer trying to be funny, sarcastic, or something else.? I would have asked these questions if any of my students had written in such a vague voice, and expect them to clarify the passages. Can't anyone at the WaPo do this? Cohen? Mrs. Cohen, maybe? Anyone? Buehler?

  18. Sorry, but I am NOT looking for excuses to "emote," or to call others racist. I always prefer not to emote at all. I am blazingly liberal. I do not watch or admire Maddow or MSNBC. But I had a horrifyingly visceral and unpleasant reaction to Cohen's "gag reflex" sentence, and I won't be cowed into denying that I did. Cohen's terms, "conventional" and "gag reflex" were not just poorly chosen, he was stating something that was false. Columnists are supposed to be wordsmiths, aren't they? They're supposed to have better ideas and express them better than the rest of us who aren't columnists. So why should we give Cohen a pass on this horribly, ugly, false sentence?

  19. The fact that Bob S. should frame Cohen's piece and reactions to it in the way he does -- just too hopeless. Yes, Bob is the very epitome of concern troll, as way above. Concern troll as the blogger or columnist himself or herself -- what a feat!. Like Cohen, Bob is a "liberal" who blows the winds of "center" ever rightward. Really, this is a-hole stuff, Mr. Somerby.

    1. The bone-gnawer is a reverse catcher-in-the-rye. Holden Caulfield wanted to prevent children playing in the rye from falling - bone-gnawer waits around to mug liberals and for some reason rasps on an on about test scores (everybody else is wrong of course).

      Un-freaking believable - going on an on and on and on about Al Gore. Bone-gnawer - Al Gore didn't lose because of liberals - he lost because your beloved rednecks in Tennessee and Arkansas (his and Clinton's home state) didn't vote for him. Those rednecks wouldn't have understood the internet and earth tones - Baby Bush seemed like a real man to them and Gore a windbag.

      That Bush would go on to gleefully kill third world people meant not a thing to these worthy folk.

    2. Yes, failure to carry either Tennessee and Arkansas was key to Gore's defeat. You might want to add in Missouri in an election where every Democrate on the statwide ballot won -- except one. And that included a dead guy beating a sitting Republican senator.

      In an election this close, there are always numerous factors and it is the height of intellectual laziness to point to just one.

      You had the Nader effect in both New Hampshire and Florida. And Nader was buoyed by a late rush of money from GOP sources that allowed him to campaign in swing states -- after promising that he wouldn't.

      There was the "butterfly ballot" effect in Florida, as well as the deliberate statewide voter suppression efforts especially in Dade and Broward.

      There was the Joe Lieberman effect, especially after playing nicey-nice with his old pal, Dick Cheney, in their face-to-face debate, lending credibility to the claim that these neo-cons weren't so crazy after all.

      And of course, you had Gore himself, whose stump speech seemed to consist solely of a noun, a verb, and "Social Security lock box." How inspiring!

      No, after the longest peacetime economic expansion, at a time when by any measure the country was in the greatest shape it has ever been in, the only thing that could possibly account for Gore's defeat was the "War on Gore."

  20. ".....Christie and other Republican moderates...."

    Cohen is a funny guy.

  21. A poor choice of words is a good excuse when you're a 5th grader still dealing with the grammar and spelling of the English language.

    Not so much when you've been a columnist for over 2 decades and have presumably written millions of words on different subjects during that time frame.

    1. Richard Cohen's main problem isn't what he recently wrote that sparked this latest controversy.

      It's what he's written in the past.

  22. Excuse me, Bob, but I know how to read.

    When a guy writes "conventional" when he really, really means "culturally conservative", doesn't that tell you something about the guy?

    This wasn't any accident, like words spoken off the cuff. This was a column written by a veteran columnist who chooses his words carefully.

    "Oops" is hardly an excuse, and please stop playing the "context" card that has been played by charlatans for years when they are caught writing something breathtakingly stupid.

    1. Well, good, then you must also have noticed that Cohen expressly used "cultural conservatives" interchangeably in his statement about "conventional views".

    2. Oh, so now they are "interchangeable" and how do you know thiw? Why, because Somerby says so!

      Cecelia, try pulling your head out of Somerby's butt, breath some real oxygen, and reclaim what's left of your brain cells.

      For example, even if you by the notion that "culturally conservative" (whatever that means) would have a "gag reflex" at the thought of a racially mixed married couple, shouldn't even "culturally conservative" people be offended by that?

      So just perhaps it isn't "liberals" who "can't read" who found Cohen's crass comment deeply offensive?

      No, it can't be that because Somerby has already given you your talking points, and you are long beyond thinking for yourself.

    3. Actually, the Washington Post told me, Irishguy.

      It's a pity so many liberals found Cohen remarks about cultural conservatives so outrageous that they had to leave off a sentence where he did just that.

      But thanks for trying to argue it both ways.

    4. Hey, congratulations. How did you ever find Cohen's column?

      By the way, even the brain-dead knows the difference between "The Washington Post" or any newspaper, and "Richard Cohen" or any op-ed columnist.

      And again, if you bothered to read the reaction of "liberals who can't read" instead of letting Somerby tell you what they said, you would find that they are saying that there is nothing "conventional" nor "culturally conservative" about a "gag reflex" over a racially mixed couple.

      I would also ask you to ponder why Cohen felt it necessary to throw in the Mayor of New York and his family into a column about Christie's alleged "problems" in Iowa, but that would cause your head to explode since Somerby hasn't bothered to tell you what to think about that.

    5. Irishguy, if I understand that Cohen is calling cultural conservatives the new Dixiecrats who long for miscegenation laws, why would my head explode over any further allusions to conservative racism via the example of an interracial marriage?

      Remember the recent controversy linking one guy with a Confederate flag to the entire Tea Party.

      The point is the truncated quote, Einstein, and the way that Cruz and Palin have been disappeared in order to keep the focus on Cohen dissing people with "conventional views".

      I've already stated that this is a brouhaha only liberals can understand, especially in light of the endless slams about the Tea Party being a reaction of the white power structure to a black Commander in Chief.

      I've stated too that had this nonsense been written by someone who was not in liberal crosshairs, it would have gone over like gravy.

      Somerby didn't go to either of those places, so spare me the mindless sheep play.

      You guys need new material.

  23. "People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York—a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio's wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts—but not all—of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn't look like their country at all".

    Who are these "people" with "conventional" views?
    You? Your friends? Cohen? Tea partiers? Liberals? Right wing Nuts?
    Who amongst us needs to "repress" a "gag reflex"?
    Educate me. Elucidate us "liberals".


    1. Why, the poor, misunderstood Cohen himself is now saying that when he wrote "people with conventional views" he was really and only talking about "Tea Party extremists." And of course, not all Tea Partiers. Just the "extremists."

      Now one would think that calling "extremist" views "conventional" would be problematic.

      But not to Bob, who thinks he's found yet another club with which to beat "liberals" with for daring to call what Cohen wrote extremely stupid, to say the least.

      After all, this is a guy who just discovered barely a week ago after watching a movie that slavery wasn't so good for the slaves after all.

    2. Actually, the whole point of the blog was that it's clear that Cohen isn't referencing average folks but tea party members.

      Clear especially...if you don't lop off the portion where Cohen uses "conventional" and "cultural conservatives" interchangeably, and if you don't disappear Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin.

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