Us and Them and Kevin Drum's chart!

MONDAY, MARCH 13, 2017

What Bernie might have said:
After posting our last award-winning post, we turned straight to this new post by Kevin Drum. It's called, A Note on the Perils of Caricature.

On the one hand, we agree with every word Drum said. On the other hand, his graphic verges on what we were talking about in our own last award-winning post.

Drum starts with an exchange from tonight's All In program. Chris Hayes and Bernie Sanders have taped a program in McDowell County, West Virginia. At one point, this exchange occurs:
LOCAL WOMAN: I think a lot of people think we're just a bunch of hillbilly rednecks.

SANDERS: I don't think that.
Below, we'll suggest a better response. First, though, we'll suggest that you go to Drum's post and see what he said.

We agree with every word he said. We think his analysis is very sensible, very much on point.

That said, take a look at the graphic he constructed. It characterizes the most "extreme" red and blue voters in terms of one variable. But uh-oh:

It characterizes their most "extreme" voters in an extremely critical way. It characterizes our most "extreme" voters in a morally neutral way.

Liberals, we're just saying! We liberals sometimes tend to be like that!

As for the exchange we posted above, we'll now suggest a better answer by Sanders. For ourselves, we would have stood and cheered had he offered this:
LOCAL WOMAN: I think a lot of people think we're just a bunch of hillbilly rednecks.

SANDERS: I agree with you. I think a lot of people who may be right about other things do have an attitude like that.

I think their attitude is wrong. I don't think like that.
Trust us. Our suggested answer would be remembered much, much longer.

It's a basic part of comedy training: Tell the truth about whatever it is that just occurred in the room.

Go ahead—cop to the truth. Everybody else in the room already knows it's true!

35 comments:

  1. Somerby wants Sanders to cop to one truth but not another.

    Yes, some people do consider hill people "hillbilly rednecks".

    But some hill people ARE hillbilly rednecks in every sense of that word. That's the truth Sanders doesn't say (explicitly denies) and the truth Somerby ignores too. It is the elephant in the room.

    Tell the whole truth.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Stone racist" is not the right term for someone who is rigid about change. Xenophobe is a neutral term. You might need to differentiate between benign xenophobia (refusal to visit Europe) and hostile xenophobia (burning a cross on a new neighbor's lawn). The latter is more extreme and perhaps less rare but it is the former that results in Trump support, which in turn enables the latter form of xenophobia and its institutionalization in our culture.

    At the end of his essay Drum says: "That doesn't make them bad people, it just means they're a few notches away from us on the bell curve."

    I suppose Drum is referring to the fact that most human characteristics are distributed in a bell curve across the population, but the only Bell Curve most people know about is the one related to IQ scores. So it sounds like Drum is calling those who dislike change stupid people. He should be more careful about that in an essay on tolerance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Particularly since it is an inconvenient fact that the populations at the lowest end of that Bell Curve are overwhelmingly Democrat.

      Delete
    2. Not true. See: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/unique-everybody-else/201305/intelligence-and-politics-have-complex-relationship

      Delete
  3. "Are you with Obama or are you a racist?" was the false choice they crammed down the throat of America for 8 years. "Are you with her or are you a racist and sexist?" finally did force a different choice, upended the electoral map, and caused the biggest political backfire in history. President Donald Trump.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So I guessing you are on the racist side then?

      Delete
    2. No, I'm a Republican.

      Delete
    3. I wasn't with Obama (due to his repeating of Conservative economic nonsense), and no one called me a racist. Are you sure you weren't called a racist for some other reason?

      Delete
    4. "due to his repeating of Conservative economic nonsense.."

      Like what? Never mind, Mr. Bunker.

      Delete
    5. "(due to his repeating of Conservative economic nonsense),"

      The racists always find some excuse. This one is especially clever.

      Delete
    6. Obama put SS on the table is his desperation to strike a grand bargain. Only thing that saved us was the fact that the GOP was too fucking stupid and determined to be total fucking obstructionists.

      Delete
    7. Obama talking about the defect, during a time of high unemployment/ under-employment is the kind of thing an economic know-nothing would do.
      Also, making believe the federal government pays their bills "just like you do at your kitchen table" is beyond stupid. The federal government can print money. You can't.
      Pro tip to Dems/ Liberals: Stop repeating conservative economic nonsense. It makes you sound as stupid as the mouth-breathers who voted for Trump.

      Delete
    8. The black president couldn't even understand basic economics, says the racist.

      Delete
  4. Sport a Confederate Flag and you are a hillbilly redneck. I fail to see the woman's issue here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Republicans have hillbilly rednecks and their apologists. Democrats have urban thugs and their apologists. Both groups are antisocial in their attitudes and behaviors including violent crime.

      There are enough ignorant and dangerous poor to spread around politically. Forget about being nice to them. We can make excuses for our own rednecks and thugs and attack our opponents for theirs.

      Delete
    2. Tom Zeug -- IMHO one key issue is that symbols mean different things to different people. To YOU a Confederate flag represents racism, but it may NOT represent racism to some other person.

      Delete
    3. Flying the flag of a failed confederacy that tried to dissolve the American union in defense of slavery cannot represent anything good. Even the historical events associated with the flag are shameful, racism aside. So, when people defend it in the name of history, we do suspect they are actually defending something else, something with more racial overtones. Because their other claims about it make no sense.

      Delete
    4. That's your POV, and it's valid for you, Anon 6:24. But, for some people the Confederate flag just represents local pride. E.g, consider this article: "I am a black South Carolinian. Here’s why I support the Confederate flag....For me and many Southerners, the flag celebrates my heritage and regional pride. One of my ancestors, Benjamin Thomas, was a black Confederate cook, and I do not want to turn my back on his service to the South. So I hang the flag in honor of his hard work and dedication to South Carolina during the Civil War."


      https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/06/24/i-am-a-black-south-carolinian-heres-why-i-support-the-confederate-flag/?utm_term=.51909e17c728

      Delete
    5. Not surprising that Comrade DinC is charmed by a symbol of bloody treason and racism.

      Delete
    6. The Confederate battle flag represents treason in support of slavery.

      Delete
    7. Ever heard of the term "outlier" David?

      Delete
    8. David,
      I don't want to appear like I am piling on, but your post is a steaming pile of manure. This is the same crap southern schools were shoveling into kids in the 1950's. Enough already!

      Delete
    9. They fly the flag of treason, then whine that liberals hate this country.
      How do we deal with them? We don't. We need to work around (not with) these morons.

      Delete
    10. Thank you Gavin, for getting my point. To most people, the Confederate flag may have represented racism, but there were others, even some African Americans, for whom it represented regional pride or had some other non-racist meaning. Each of us assigned our own meaning to it.

      Delete
    11. David,
      The treasonous Confederate flag disappeared from the 1870s until the late 1950s, when Brown vs Board of Education was decided.
      Southern pride my ass. I have to say, I'm zero percent shocked you'd carry water for racists.

      Delete
    12. Davis in Cal,
      Southern local pride in what? In slavery, treason and cowardice? Did your black confederate cook ancestor, have a choice to support such treason or did his master force him?

      Delete
    13. "Thank you gavin, for getting my point."

      You ARE realty stupid.

      Delete
    14. @3:50 PM - realty? Look who's talking.

      Delete
  5. Many in the coastal elites, including the ones that lean liberal, have looked at West Virginians as hillbilly rednecks for many decades. Yet well into the 1990s, they voted for the party most associated with civil rights legislation and supported by nearly 100% of the black community. So how come now that sense of victimization became a decisive political issue now and it wasn't then when the sensibilities of the Democratic Party were just a opposed to racial prejudice as it is now?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trump said he would bring back coal jobs. Clinton didn't.

      Delete
  6. "I think a lot of people think we're just a bunch of hillbilly rednecks."

    When you vote for a guy who plans to ruin your health what else am I to think?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey guys, Get your ex back fast with the help of a real and genuine spell caster called Dr.Unity.
    I'm so excited my broken Marriage has been restored and my husband is back after a breakup, After 2 years of marriage, me and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me and moved to California to be with another woman. i felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Unity can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a (Love spell) for me. 28 hours later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me and the kids so much, So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and the kids. Then from that day,our Marriage was now stronger than how it were before,All thanks to Dr Unity. he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that Dr Unity real and powerful spell caster who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, if you are here and you need your Ex back or your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore, contact this powerful spell caster now. Here’s his contact: Email him at: Unityspelltemple@gmail.com ,
    you can also call him or add him on Whats-app: +2348071622464 ,
    his website:http://unityspelltemple.yolasite.com .
    Jessica, 26 years, Texas, USA.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Are you going through a break-up or divorce? Do you need your Ex back fast? Dnot cry anymore, contact Dr .Goodluck powerful Love spell that work fast now!! I was hurt and heart broken when my Husband breakup with me, and i could not know what next to do again, I love my Husband so much but he was cheating on me with another woman and this makes him break up with me so that he can be able to get marred to the other lady and this lady i think use witchcraft on my Husband to make him hate me and our kids and this was so critical and uncalled-for,I cry all day and night for God to send me a helper to get back my man until i went to Texas in USA to see a friend and who was having the same problem with me but she latter got her husband back and i asked her how she was able to get her husband back and she told me that their was a powerful spell caster called Dr .Goodluck that help with love spell in getting back lost lover back, and i decided to contact the same Dr .Goodluck and he told me what is needed to be done for me to have my man back and i did it although i doubted it but i did it and the Dr told me that i will get the result after 17hours, and he told me that my husband was going to call me and i still doubted his word, to my surprise my husband really called me and told me that he miss me so much, Oh My God! i was so excited, and today i am happy with my man again and we are joyfully living together as one big family and i thank the powerful spell caster Dr .Goodluck for bringing back my man and i decided to share my story on the internet that Dr .Goodluck is best spell caster online who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, If you have any problem contact Dr .Goodluck and i guarantee you that he will help you,Email him at: goodluck05spellcaster@gmail.com ,you can also call him or add him on whats-app: +2348138654465 ,http://goodluck05spellcaster.yolasite.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello,
    I Read the article of a very great spell caster and it seems very helpful
    to me. I haven’t had the chance to have a proper relationship with my ex
    because we work together. This will be the final week or work and then I
    wont be around him constantly. Unfortunately, I broke one of the rules in
    the article and have been sleeping with him. Something I’m not proud of,
    especially since he has a girlfriend. Not to mention that she’s a girl he
    dated off and on for 3 years before he dated me.
    When I asked him why he kept sleeping with me even though he was in a
    relationship, his response was because I wanted it, and he wants me to be
    happy. But obviously what would make me happy would be to have him all to
    myself. That was when i read about Dr alexzander on how he help people in
    saving their relationship and i was really desperate for his help. There
    were things in our relationship that were tough. We traveled for 4 months
    right in the beginning, and it was hard due to different expectations. When
    we returned our living situation was unstable which caused a lot of stress
    on my end. And when I ask why he didn’t give me a chance to make things
    better he said he gave me tons of chances. Oh, and he compared our
    relationship with his past. He says that things were great, and then they
    went bad really fast, and that why his back with is Ex. Because it at least
    took them years for things to get that bad. So i was very sad and
    disappointing and decided to contact this spell caster for help with tears
    running out of my eyes and Dr alexzander promised to make things right in
    my relationship and also assured me that my boyfriend is going to come back
    to me within 78hrs. At first i was shock and didn't believe him because i
    thought it was impossible to do. But i gave it a try and trusted him. Dr
    alexzander asked for my details and his, then guarantee me of his return.
    Truly my ex lover started calling me and also begging me to forgive him and
    that's his willing to give us a second chance, then promised me never to
    love any other woman apart from me. it all seem like a miracle to me till
    now. Dr alexzander. Words can't express how i feel right now. it been 2
    month now since you caste that love spell for me and nothing have gone bad
    between us. his now caring more than ever and also the loving kind of Man i
    have ever wanted for myself in life. I thank you Dr alexzander for saving
    my relationship. Indeed you are the best. I want to use this media to share
    my testimony for the whole world to see and know that there is still hope
    in your broken relationship, No matter how bad it seems don't give up hope
    and also contact this man who saved my own. you can reach him through his
    website address http://alexzanderhightemple-com.webs.com or contact him
    direct with his email address alexzanderhightemple@gmail.com. I thank you
    Dr alexzander for helping me and i will always share my testimony in every
    social media or place i may go to.
    (From United State Of America).
    Mrs Tracy Grilli.
    http://tracygrilli.blogspot.com.tr
    https://tracygrilli59.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hello,
    I Read the article of a very great spell caster and it seems very helpful
    to me. I haven’t had the chance to have a proper relationship with my ex
    because we work together. This will be the final week or work and then I
    wont be around him constantly. Unfortunately, I broke one of the rules in
    the article and have been sleeping with him. Something I’m not proud of,
    especially since he has a girlfriend. Not to mention that she’s a girl he
    dated off and on for 3 years before he dated me.
    When I asked him why he kept sleeping with me even though he was in a
    relationship, his response was because I wanted it, and he wants me to be
    happy. But obviously what would make me happy would be to have him all to
    myself. That was when i read about Dr alexzander on how he help people in
    saving their relationship and i was really desperate for his help. There
    were things in our relationship that were tough. We traveled for 4 months
    right in the beginning, and it was hard due to different expectations. When
    we returned our living situation was unstable which caused a lot of stress
    on my end. And when I ask why he didn’t give me a chance to make things
    better he said he gave me tons of chances. Oh, and he compared our
    relationship with his past. He says that things were great, and then they
    went bad really fast, and that why his back with is Ex. Because it at least
    took them years for things to get that bad. So i was very sad and
    disappointing and decided to contact this spell caster for help with tears
    running out of my eyes and Dr alexzander promised to make things right in
    my relationship and also assured me that my boyfriend is going to come back
    to me within 78hrs. At first i was shock and didn't believe him because i
    thought it was impossible to do. But i gave it a try and trusted him. Dr
    alexzander asked for my details and his, then guarantee me of his return.
    Truly my ex lover started calling me and also begging me to forgive him and
    that's his willing to give us a second chance, then promised me never to
    love any other woman apart from me. it all seem like a miracle to me till
    now. Dr alexzander. Words can't express how i feel right now. it been 2
    month now since you caste that love spell for me and nothing have gone bad
    between us. his now caring more than ever and also the loving kind of Man i
    have ever wanted for myself in life. I thank you Dr alexzander for saving
    my relationship. Indeed you are the best. I want to use this media to share
    my testimony for the whole world to see and know that there is still hope
    in your broken relationship, No matter how bad it seems don't give up hope
    and also contact this man who saved my own. you can reach him through his
    website address http://alexzanderhightemple-com.webs.com or contact him
    direct with his email address alexzanderhightemple@gmail.com. I thank you
    Dr alexzander for helping me and i will always share my testimony in every
    social media or place i may go to.
    (From United State Of America).
    Mrs Tracy Grilli.
    http://tracygrilli.blogspot.com.tr
    https://tracygrilli59.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete