FROM BOTH SIDES NOW: Columnist Collins confronts The Crazy!


Part 4—Our own tribe’s lack of smarts: It’s true! Many conservatives say and believe the darnedest things!

To cite the saddest example, many conservatives even say Obama was born in Kenya. You have to be extremely gullible to believe that ludicrous claim. But people have always believed the darnedest things, down through the annals of time.

For quite a few years, we liberals got to laugh at all the ditto-heads. Finally, after the war in Iraq, we began to emerge from our nap in the woods, where we’d been for a good many years.

We liberals began to reenter the fray! By now, we’ve begun to reveal our lack of decency, our own tribe’s lack of smarts.

How dumb and indecent must you be to support what Alan Grayson did when he placed a burning cross in place of the “T” in the vile words “Tea Party?” How dumb and indecent must liberals be to stand behind such an act?

In fairness, Grayson was trying to raise lots of money from a bunch of knuckle-dragging buffoons. Here’s what he said when his mailer was criticized:

“If the hood fits, wear it.”

You’d probably think that no sane person would defend that mailer or that remark. If you thought that, you’d be wrong. Liberal intellectual leaders have avoided commenting on Grayson’s conduct. Meanwhile, at Salon, the commenters cheered him on.

Now that our tribe has emerged from the woods, we’re revealing an unfortunate fact. Despite our past protestations, we just aren’t especially decent and we aren’t especially bright.

Plainly, Salon has been Ground Zero for the emergence of a new, lower-IQ liberal world in which we engage in sweeping denunciations which are ugly and unintelligent. For one sad example, we’ll soon turn to this.

But first, let’s consider Gail Collins. Last week, Collins played a familiar card: Them people in Texas are crazy!

In fairness to Collins, she only cited Republican pols. But even there, she seemed to run out of “crazy” fairly fast.

In truth, there’s plenty of crazy to choose from. But as you know, Collins is lazy:
COLLINS (10/19/13): Have you noticed how many lawmakers from Texas were doing crazy things during the government shutdown debacle?

We need to discuss this as a matter of simple justice. These days, when you say “Texas” in the context of heavy-breathing Republican extremism, everybody immediately thinks of Senator Ted Cruz. Which is really unfair when there are so many other members of the state delegation trying to do their part.

I am thinking, for instance, of Representative Randy Neugebauer, who harangued an innocent park ranger about a shutdown-shuttered war memorial, insisting that the ranger and her colleagues should be “ashamed of themselves.”

Or Representative Louie Gohmert, who created a mild diversion when he charged that John McCain, an opponent of the shutdown, “supported Al Qaeda” in Syria. (McCain said that he did not take offense because “if someone has no intelligence, I don’t view it as being a malicious statement.”)

Or Representative Steve Stockman, who accused the president and House Democrats of “curb-stomping veterans.”

Or Representative John Culberson, who cried “Let’s roll!” in an apparent belief that shutting down the government was equivalent to resisting 9/11 terrorists.

Or Representative Pete Sessions, who summed things up rather neatly with: “We’re not French. We don’t surrender.”

See? Share the credit.
Neuberger’s conduct was pathetic, inane. That said, the “crazy” behavior Collins cites pretty much tails off from there.

Is it really crazy to say “Let’s roll?” Standard mockery of the French may be dumb. But is it really crazy?

As she engaged in her own standard mockery, Collins began stretching more. Soon, she was discussing “strange.” Or at least she pretended to do so:
COLLINS: Even the bottom of the ticket is going to have little sparks of strange. Next year, the race for Texas land commissioner will feature a new-generation Bush, Jeb’s son George P. The singer Kinky Friedman says he’s running for the Democratic nomination for agriculture commissioner on a legalize-marijuana platform. The rest of us will just sit here and mull the fact that Texans feel the need to make these jobs elective.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Gov. Rick Perry appears to be planning to run for president again. And since Ted Cruz is pretty clearly planning a run, too, there could be two Texans in the Republican primary debates. Maybe an all-Texas ticket!

While Cruz has been trying to win the hearts of American voters by spreading fear, terror and economic chaos, Perry has been wandering around the country, criticizing other states for their high taxes and bragging about job growth in Texas.
Why is it strange that George P. Bush is running for office? Beyond that, is it really strange that Texans elect their agriculture commissioner?


That all-Texas ticket would be strange, because it would be unconstitutional. (Strangely, Collins didn’t seem to know.) And let’s face it: by the time Collins says Perry has been “wandering around” and “bragging,” we’ve been reduced to simple acts of name-calling.

Collins rarely has much to say. On this day, she offered little enlightenment about current politics in Texas.

That said, she had pleased and primed her own yahoos. In comments, the name-calling started:
COMMENTER FROM BOSTON: None of these embarrassing examples of the democratic system gone wrong would be allowed outside in public if the electorate wasn’t proud of the job they were doing...Make them show a library card before they can vote.

I thought the embarrassment engendered by the last Republican presidential campaign was measured on the Richter scale...But nothing will compare to the double whammy of Perry and Cruz vying for the job of president of the United States. They wouldn’t need campaign managers as much as they’d need zookeepers.

COMMENTER FROM WASHINGTON DC: The nation must keep in mind that it was the Texas legislature that passed a law to prohibit the teaching of critical thinking skills in schools because they did not want children to question authority. That tells me all I need to know about the state and its educational products, children, students.

COMMENTER FROM NEW YORK CITY: Unless you are a rich land owner with oil or gas wells or a business looking for cheap non-union labor with no benefits, Texas is an awful place to live where mal-educated, uninsured people working on subsistence wages can vote but not elect anyone, because the electoral system is totally rigged so that for the majority democracy does not exist. At or near the bottom in health care and education and quality of life, Texas is basically a corporatist fascist totalitarian state in a perpetual battle with the United States government and the foundations of American democracy.

Their pride is in being a Texan, not an American to whom, for no rational reason they feel superior. There always is talk of secession. They did it before and they never returned to America. They are a state of boasters, show offs, braggarts and bullies and their Republican delegation to D.C., are not merely un-American, they are anti-American.
We noted that the last two commenters seemed to think that the people Down There were “at or near the bottom in education.” That is completely untrue, of course. But people who denounce with broad brushes are often misinformed.

Many Texans get misinformed by watching Fox or listening to Rush. We liberals sometimes get misinformed from listening to slackers like Collins. To wit:

As the lambasting of Texans-in-general continued, some commenters responded from Texas, complaining about the very broad brushes wielded by Collins’ readers. We were amused and saddened by the exchange which follows. It started with a response to that comment from New York City:
RESPONSE FROM HOUSTON: Have you even been here? Nothing like painting with a very broad brush, huh? We have our crazies, and Dems are a couple of elections from victory, but we hardly deserve your over-the-top comments. You must think there are no Dems in Texas at all. You would be wrong.

RESPONSE FROM COMMENTER IN NEW YORK CITY: Yes and it was too damned hot. It is not that there is no Dems in Texas it is just that Texas is gerrymandered so that they have no real representation. As for details, I highly recommend studying Ms. Collins detailed book "As Texas Goes.” It is well researched and shocking.
Apparently, Commenter Numbnuts in New York got his ideas about Texas schools from reading Collins’ “detailed book,” which he thinks was “well-researched.” In fact, Collins’ work on the Texas schools was one long unvarnished embarrassing howler, as were her presentations on her subsequent book tour.

Like several of those Texas pols, Collins is lazy, unintelligent, under-informed. But people like the commenter from New York don’t know that! They read her book, but had no idea how inaccurate it was. They spew their sweeping denunciations, trashing a state whose public schools outscore the schools in their own states in every category of students.

Collins’ column generated 847 comments, a very high number for the Times. Soon, a low-intelligence theme developed: We should let them Texans secede!

One after another, we liberals kept singing this same tired song. A hundred commenters said the same thing. Then a hundred more came along.

We should let them people secede! Lord, how good that feels! And it perfectly serves the plutocrat's dream: to see the 99 percent break apart into angry, name-calling factions.

Texas isn’t going to secede. Collins is basically worthless. She was too lazy to do the actual research for her book about Texas schools. And sure enough! Last weekend, gullible readers repeated her claims, the same way gullible Texans may do with the bullshit they hear on Fox.

Collins had nothing to say in her column; her readers were eager to vent. In our next post in this series, we’ll look at where this numb-nut culture is going.

Or did Grayson already show us? He spread the hate around real good, survives through the silence of friends.

We think liberals should resist The Hate and The Dumb. In the case of Grayson, we'll say this:

If the dunce cap fits, please wear it.

Tomorrow: The problem with sweeping statements about forty million brains


  1. Especially fine essay, what Rep. Grayson has done is beyond excuse or forgiveness. Completely shameful, completely a lie, completely racist in itself. Collins is impossibly inane.

  2. Yes, Bob, Grayson is dumb and Collins is inane.

    But newsflash: No matter how broad the brush you wield in order to accuse "liberals" of painting with a broad brush, Grayson and Collins do not represent mainstream liberal thought in any way, shape or form, nor can you say they are particularly influential.

    Oh, I forgot. Gail Collins has a column in the horrible, awful NEW YORK TIMES which is also, paradoxically in Bob's mind, the ONLY newspaper in America with any influence whatsoever.

    That's some narrative you're selling, Bob.

    1. Anon11:40am, there doesn't seem to be a soul anywhere who represents liberal thinking, or who are very influential.

      From Salon's Joan Walsh, to liberal NYT's columnists, to elected liberal politicians...

    2. Ah, Cecelia, now you understand why liberals are so frustrated! You get it!

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. mch, it may be a very common problem that most of us experience with our elected and unelected ideological cohorts who are in the public eye:

      What you see is what you get.

  3. Here is Bob's advice when Klayman told Obama to put down the Qu'ran and come out with his hands in the air:

    "When people like Finney take the bait in that predictable way, they transfer enormous power to world-class hustlers like Klayman."

    Here is Bob's advice when Grayson says something equally as dumb:

    "You’d probably think that no sane person would defend that mailer or that remark. If you thought that, you’d be wrong. Liberal intellectual leaders have avoided commenting on Grayson’s conduct."

    I see, so now avoiding comment is the same as defending the conduct. Except when the conduct comes from a right-winger, in which case we should avoid comment lest we give him power.

    1. Don't forget BOB's false attack on Lawrence O'Donnell, whom he accused of hiding a statement from Ted Cruz in order to fan liberal hate by saying Cruz had not denounced Klayman. Cruz, BOB assured us, mildly rebuked Klayman. It turns out O'Donnell not only put Cruz's statement on the screen, but Cruz never denounced the media and spoke of misguided actions of a person Cruz conveniently forgot to name.

      Keep that last line in mind the next time BOB goes
      on one of his crusades against Krugman or some other
      successful writer working outside the bloggyshpere for "not naming names."

      KZ (Who agrees with the BOBster about Grayson but reserves the right to question most of his defense of Texas)

    2. Correction to the above: I started to write that Cruz never denounced Klayman, then added the bit about who he did denounce, the media, without remoiving the negative. It should read "Cruz denounced the media and spoke of misguided actions of a person Cruz conveniently forgot to name."


    3. The difference is whether the comment is coming from the same side or the opponents. It would make a difference if Klayman were denounced by his own side, if people at that rally for instance were to object to his remarks. When members of the opposing party criticize him it does give him more power, more credibility and stature within his own followers.

    4. Anon11:53am, you are absolutely right. How could anyone hold a congressman to a higher standard than they do for Larry Klayman.

    5. KZ, was what the actual statement from Cruz that O'Donnell put up on the screen?

      I've seen the references to one by both Somerby and commenters.

      What was it?

    6. Sorry Cecelia. For some reason I just cam across your inquiry. I'll try and find it. It is an on screen quote that ran during the progam. It is in the clips
      under a caption I recall is entitled "The Obama Haters" if you want to look for it before I get around to posting a link. I am on a conference call now then have a lunch so it may be a few hours.

      The statement was from his press secretary. She used to work for Rick Perry and is the one who issued the statement after the New Yorker ran the piece on his 3 year old comment about Commies on the Harvard Law Faculty. You may recall that statement: It compared the Harvard Law Faculty to the Kremlin. The clarification was something like, "yes he said it. And it was true."



      " It's unfortunate the media has allowed one person's misguided actions to distract from the real purpose for countless veterans to rally in DC: To urge thier government to fund veterans which Sen. Cruz continues fighting for."

      Catherine Frazier, Spokersperson for Sen. Cruz"

      I cannot find any other source so I can't say this is the entire statement issued by Cruz's office. But, to use a vocabulary word from you. it comports with O'Donnell and not BOB.


    8. No,it doesn't, KZ, Somerby said:

      "For what it’s worth, Lawrence O’Donnell went even one step farther. Knowing that Cruz had mildly rebuked Klayman for the things he said, he pretended to have misplaced Cruz’s statement. In that way, he was able to tell us that Cruz had done no such thing."

      Cruz said:
      " It's unfortunate the media has allowed one person's misguided actions to distract from the real purpose for countless veterans to rally in DC: To urge thier government to fund veterans which Sen. Cruz continues fighting for."

      O'Donnell turned it into this :

      O’DONNELL (10/14/13): Dorian, we had a statement from Ted Cruz, which I have misplaced, which we might be able to put up on the screen. But he basically said about Larry Klayman’s statement— He did not denounce it. He just said it’s unfortunate that the media is distracted by, you know, these other speakers at this event instead of me. He did not denounce it in any way."

      That makes it sound like Cruz was just angry that the other speakers got more media attention than he did.

      Later O'Donnell put the actual quote on the screen, read it, then went immediately to Karen Finney who said, "What a coward!"

      It was several minutes before viewers even heard the real quote, and O'Donnell never corrected his misquote.

      You don't have a gotcha here. What you have is a dispute over whether this was intentional on Lawrence's part, or just recklessness.

      What happened is not in conflict with Somerby's description of Lawrence mischaracturizing a quote an audience had not yet heard. To suspect that was intentional is not a "lie".

      I give the benefit of the doubt to O'Donnell. However, you 're a guy who suspects that Michael Ashmore's story is a scam, rather than misreporting, and that he didn't write the letter he put out.

      You're no stranger to suspicion , Rev. Hypocrisy.

    9. You have gone to great lengths to prove what I said in my comment above is exactly correct. What BOB said misled his readers about three things:

      1) O'Donnell was deliberately witholding what Cruz said.

      2) Cruz mildly rebuked Klayman.

      3) That O'Donnell misled viewers by telling them Cruz had not rebuked Klayman.

      The only thing you add which is new is that in accrurately saying Cruz did not rebuke Klayman, O'Donnell falsely suggested the media should be blamed for not covering Cruz. But that point was not raised by BOB.


    10. Somerby : "For what it’s worth, Lawrence O’Donnell went even one step farther. Knowing that Cruz had mildly rebuked Klayman for the things he said, he pretended to have misplaced Cruz’s statement. In that way, he was able to tell us that Cruz had done no such thing."

      That's exactly what happened. Not having the quote at hand gave O'Donnell the opportunity to mischaracterize it from jump, and he never corrected that misinformation, even after later reading the actual quote.

      O'Donnell took the opportunity a misplacing if Cruz' actual statement with an O'Donnell paraphrase of it. He said that Cruz did not denounce Klayman at all, but complained about the other "speakers" getting more attention than he got.

      Actually Cruz complained that ONE (Klayman) "MISGUIDED speaker" was the media focus.

      That' is a "mild rebuke" (Somerby's description), as well as being quite different in meaning from O'Donnell's implication.

      Even after later reading reading the quote, ODonnell never expressly corrected his earlier mischaracterization of it and he never corrected the fact that Cruz did indeed obliquely reference Klayman (the speaker of intense media focus) as being "misguided", and that his complaint wasn't that other speakers got all the media focus, but that one bad apple did (to the point that the protester's objections to the closing of the monuments was ignored.)

      O'Donnell's mischaracterization of the Cruz' complaint was either reckless or intentional. His later reading of the quote without any correction of his earlier mischacterization was irresponsible.

      The only point of contention is whether it was intentional.

      Either way, the only uncorrected misinformation here, isn't Somerby's, it's O'Donnell's.

  4. I'm paraphrasing here, but as a long time Texan, I always remember Willie Morris describing as the Editor of the Texas Observer, his hiring the writer Robert Sherrill to cover the Texas legislature in the late 1950's: "Sherrill came to scoff. The reason he stayed so long was there was so much to scoff at."

    While we appreciate folks like Somerby defending Texas against the rampant "placism" of so many from liberal quarters of the country,
    we worked hard to earn the scorn so often heaped upon us.

    Somerby is right in one respect, just like many Texas boasts are tall tales, so are many of the criticisms. However, the general lunacy of the people, particularly many in high places, and even some who are mostly admirable, is not to be ignored. Shoot, even the Lt. Governor
    who was known to be running the state while Ann Richards and George Bush were Governors, was certifiably insane. So when he up and died they named the Texas state history museum after him.

    As a feller once noted speaking on the floor as an elected Representative in the Texas House:

    "Members, in Texas you gotta right to three thangs. You git born. You go die. And in between you can have a gun if you want one."

    1. As my Texas-born cousin put it: "You can't fix stupid."

    2. Well, if you guys are fine with a NYT's writer calling your state crazy, who are other Texans to object.

    3. First, darlin, nobody said it was fine for anybody to call Texas crazy.

      Second, sweetheart, one of the best New York Times writers in all Creation who called lots of Texans crazy was Molly Ivins, bless her dear departed heart. Molly was a Texan who accidentally went and got born in California.

      Third, if'n you move to Texas and do something real dumb and Un-Texan, like build a mosque near our house, we'll put a hog farm in between just to teach you a lesson.

    4. "First, darlin, nobody said it was fine for anybody to call Texas crazy. "

      Read the posts I was responding to, sugar. Or are you one of those illiterate Texans who Gail Collins wrote about?

    5. Or . . . perhaps real Texans have a better sense of humor than either you or your leader, and really don't need either one of you to defend them.

    6. Cecelia, you're breaking my heart...

      I not only read the comment you are responding to, sugar pie, I wrote the danged thing.

      Are you usually this dumb? If so, I'll try and avoid you next time, darlin.

  5. The blogger would rather die than write visceral putdowns of conservatives.

    "To cite the saddest example, many conservatives even say Obama was born in Kenya. You have to be extremely gullible to believe that ludicrous claim. But people have always believed the darnedest things, down through the annals of time"

    Its not sad - blogger - its execrable.

    Its not gullibility alone blogger - it is that and a propensity to hate that the right feeds.

    It is not ludicrous - it is bomb-throwing - just imagine the constitutional crisis that would arise if that were true !

    And yes - its "darnedest" - how folksy - like the tooth fairy or Easter bunny or that Coca Cola will dissolve an iron nail in a few days.

    And in contrast - look at the venomous hate the blogger has for liberals - especially those he thinks make a lot of money.

    Why exactly is he keeping this car-wreck going for ever (unless it his resume for a call from Roger Ailes)- after all he has only three things to say that he repeats endlessly:

    (1) Liberals are bad

    (2) Al Gore blah blah blah blah

    (3) test scores blah blah blah

    You can also add the Zimmerman obsession that he has taken on lately.

    1. For all your bather here, Anon12:12pm, I'm going to assume that even you would think it would be particularly bad if liberals became just like those awful conservatives.

    2. Another "progressive" who wants to be an idiot with impunity. Bob ruins his fun.

    3. You underestimate them, Anon1:48pm.

      I've seen these guys in action for several years now and have often stated that they may be raising hell on the other side's sites now, but they are of a mentality where they'll bringing down there own folks for the wrong sentiments too.

      You're seeing it. A tyrant is a tyrant.

    4. My, my that's a tiny box you're trying to fit all of "them" into, Cecelia.

      What would Bob say if he found out his prize student can only paint with such a broad brush and can not see people, particularly one's perceived "enemies" for the loveable human beings all people are?

    5. Well, I'd say that the cohort of my political contrarians who wish to harass the blogs of errant writers, have become what they hate.

      Somerby probably couldn't be that profound.

    6. Be certain that's a window you are looking through and not a mirror, Cecelia.

      You are certainly free with the ad hominems yourself.

    7. Anon3:43pm, when I park myself on someone's blog, and tell them what they should believe and write in order to not be a traitor to the cause, get back to me.

    8. And there you go,,,,,,,like Anon 3:43 says... another ad hominem. How awful.

    9. Dear Cecelia,

      Comments on this and every blog come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Try looking at them individually for what they say, and not for what you want them to say.

      It would make your mentor so happy.

  6. Why on earth should ideology, conservative or liberal, be a dividing hallmark in the human propensity to believe bullshit and say hateful things?

  7. The attitude toward Texas is part of an overall bias against the South held by "sophisticated" New Yorkers and other elites within the Democratic Party. It accounted, in part, for the animosity toward both Clinton and Gore, and earlier attitudes toward LBJ (despite his demonstrable accomplishments). It appeared in the comments about "low information" voters in West Virginia and working-class supporters of Hillary Clinton. That kind of elite snobbery has helped along the shift of working class people to the Republican Party, begun with Reagan and continued with GW Bush. Democrats have traditionally been the party of the people, of immigrants and working classes, of anti-poverty and diversity. When diversity is defined as only racial minority and not other forms of diversity (such as those represented by people in Texas or Alabama), we lose voters and in the long term elections. So this issue does matter, beyond a trumped up hatred of the NY Times/Collins, Walsh, Dowd. This is about valuing aned respecting our own constituencies by not demeaning them when they live in Southern states. Perhaps Bob is more sensitive to that, living in MD, but many of us felt it too during the 2008 primaries and resented it. Snobbery and elitism, exemplified in the media Bob singles out, have no place in inclusive politics, in my opinion. I applaud his campaign to identify and stamp it out by making it visible to us all.

    1. Interesting analysis Lindy. However I am not so sure
      the shift you define began with Reagan, nor was it due entirely or primarily to a snobbery of elites toward working class types. I believe the first person to benefit from that shift, who first openly railed against the elites and "point headed" intellectuals was a guy from somewhere south of the old Mason Dixon line named Wallace. And one Richard M. Nixon picked up his axe with a cynical grind. And thus it came to be that the desertion of the Reagan Democrats was because the elite's abandoned them rather than they bailed because of race.

    2. Lindy, you make some really fair points, and I've been thinking about them for more than a day now. Northern snobbery toward the south is real enough, in my experience. It is also, in my experience, greatly exaggerated and very much overplayed and hugely exploited by many politicians and pundits, who aim to get southerners to think that northerners are a bunch of snotty a-holes who reduce nearly all southerners (black as well as white) to token roles.

      It all gets tiresome. I think we, wherever we live now and whatever our histories, have to be very suspicious of ANY politician or pundit who tries to pigeon-hole any of us. At the same time, we have to do our best to be honest, taking to heart critics' (not all of them -- those we deem sincere and thoughtful) observations. I'll stop here....

  8. Oh, my. So the guy who thinks Al Gore and Bill Clinton are the truth-telling epitomes of modern liberalism, the best "our tribe" has to offer, sees fit to lecture those he deems "liberals" about what are -- plainly -- rhetorical strategies. It's mean for those Bob deems to be liberals to say mean things! Better to adopt the high road. I mean, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis had wonderful post-election lives!

    Grayson, as Bob would know if he bothered to investigate, is not dumb. Like most of us, he's capable of stupidity, but it ain't as if politics is a debating society. It shouldn't be news to Bob that the side which riles its base the most, wins. But this piece of rare news has apparently not appeared in NYT or MSNBC, so he's unaware of it.

    And according to Bob, only the right-wing is allowed to bait the crowd in this way and when it does, best not insult the rabble who believe this nonsense. They're good people, don't you know! They just believe idiotic, hateful things, for which they can't be held accountable because the NYT and MSNBC didn't tell them different! They don't read the NYT and watch MSBNC, you say? Well, hell, that's also the fault of the NYT and MSNBC, because "our tribe" is, according to Bob, corporate America!

    1. Bob writes this way because he doesn't support any particular policies...doesn't really think it's important whether Romney wins or Obama wins, otherwise TDH would be writing mea culpas about how Collins' snark about Romney's dog strapped to the car actually caught on as a meme that negatively defined Romney and his campaign. It wasn't great journalism, but it seems to have been effective journalism.

    2. I'm glad to get see this in writing, especially for our folks so concerned about hypocrisy.

      So the beef with Somerby is that he won't condemn a "Southern Strategy" AND then approve of a mirror-image strategy of using race -baiting as a political tool.

      We've had two wonderfully telling admissions here in the past two days.

      KZ's in that he spent much time in researching and writing copious paragraphs on the intricate data of various aptitude tests, only to admit he did so only to show Somerby's hypocrisy. Obsess much?

      And now this statement that Somerby is remiss in not being a cut-throat partisan campaign manager with the motto of "do whatever it takes to win".

      Ironic, indeed.

      Get the feeling of what kind of people are engaged in this blog attack that we're seeing.

    3. Amen, Geezer. I didn't care how many times she brought that dog up. The object is to win.

    4. Oh Cecelia, dear me.

      1) Bob *doesn't* acknowledge that the Southern Strategy is in play, because admitting that the Republican establishment promotes and exploits racist resentments for votes is tantamount to conceding that behavior of the rank and file is motivated by racism. There's no basis for irony, when fundamentals realities are altogether ignored.

      2) it shouldn't be news that politics is not truth-telling, for either party. You, however, like Bob, insist that those he designates "liberals" cannot criticize Republicans if they're not strictful truthful themselves (by his and/or your measure), even if these "liberals" been appointed by no one except corporate America. The right-wing, of course, is under no such constraints. Which, in your curious view, is liberal hypocrisy. Or irony. Who the hell knows.

      Finally, if politics actually told the truth, I don't think you would like it much, given the criminal depredations of American foreign policy and oligarchy-promotion at home, under both parties, and would have very nasty things to say about those telling it.

      Now maybe that's, irony -- folks who insist on truth from liberals, but couldn't bare it even for one moment.

    5. No, Anon2:47pm, let's get this down where it is.

      Bob insists on truth from YOU.

      On the other hand, the philosophy that the other side is bad so political expediency demands that we mimic them is what YOU demand from HIM.

      You demand it to the point where you will rant and rave endlessly in demanding a moral relativism from a blogger no one forces you to read.

      Who's the speech control freak here? Who's the tyrant? And who is the hypocrite?

    6. Give me a "C"

      "We've had two wonderfully telling admissions here in the past two days."

      Cecelia, my comment was no "admission." It was a restatement I am forced to make regularly because of the BOBfans for whom you wave your pompoms constantly as head cheeleader.

      I do, at times, go to lengths to point out BOB is doing the same thing he criticizes others for doing (often simultaneously within the same blog post). Inevitably I get a dither head who writes that nothing I say makes the object of BOB's scorn (OBS) any better.
      My response is, and has always been the same. My goal is to make the man who would save us from paralysis stop his paralytic behavior.

      BOB simply can't get people to recognize liars by lying. He cannot get people to spot fake data by fudging or inventing his own.

      I am her to keep BOB from human failing so he can save humanity from itself. I am here to make the OBS melt not just from His acerbic penmanship, but from the purity of his pursuit.

      You ought to save a cheer for me. Instead I must offer
      my pity and my prayer.


      I am here to save BOB

    7. "Bob insists on truth from YOU."

      Oh, that one is rich, Cecelia. So that's what Bob's purpose has been all these years?

      How about you? Does Bob insist on truth from you, or since you are already a loyal member of his tribe, can you also claim the exemption that Somerby claims for himself?

    8. re: Cecelia:

      "Bob insists on truth from YOU. "

      An absurd and meaningless assertion, particularly made on behalf of a guy as deaf as Mr. Somerby. If you mean to say Bob insists on the truth generally, you are again mistaken: Bob is interested in critiquing views which are supposed to pass as liberal on corporate media, but *actual* truth is of not the subject of this blog, as Bob himself takes pains to point out regularly (conceding he doesn't know the truth of much of anything, except maybe test scores).

      "On the other hand, the philosophy that the other side is bad so political expediency demands that we mimic them is what YOU demand from HIM."

      No no no. The critique here is that 1) what goes on at MSNBC or in the columns of Gail Collins does not reflect what remains of liberalism and has no public policy consequences (quite unlike Fox or the WSJ editorial page), 2) expecting truth from politics is self-evidently a fool's errand, as both parties are subsidiaries of corporate America, and 3) divorcing media criticism from the actual American reality is a pointless exercise.

      As for truth -- what can we see about a blogger who still regards Bill Clinton as a hero?

    9. Actually, KZ, it was quite the admission.

      The whole subject of school testing is rather esoteric and not for the faint of heart. Navigating the various differences between the tests would certainly take some time and study.

      You couldn't just be dashing out an opinion on a keyboard.

      For you to this with no greater interest than showing a blogger's hypocrisy is quite astounding.

      It's a testament to the ego and the militancy of trolls everywhere.

    10. By my count, you are now up to 17 of the 53 comments on this one thread, and the day is still young.

      The irony of you calling anyone else a "troll" is delicious.

    11. Anon4:12pm, I'm sorry but cynicism doesn't make your argument sophisticated, or any more coherent.

      Essentially, saying "what is truth" in the face of the current political environment or corporatism etc...does not an argument make. You're just singing to your choir here.

      The point is that you are demanding that this blogger adopt your own relativism and you base that on the premise that end justifies the means.

      On the other hand, the blogger sees such constructs as corrupting to the intellect and the stuff of rightwing hacks.

      For this he must change or be over run with trolls.

    12. Actually, Irishguy, I'm recuperating from an injury sustained in a minor car accident.

      I'm still on the mend for awhile.

      In the mean time sit back and read more of my comments.

      Perhaps you can get in a few about Irish-Catholic bias, or has it been decided that hypocrisy is the easier charge to make?

    13. Cecelia, I wasn't commenting about how much time you have on your hands. Obviously, quite a bit.

      I was commenting that a person who puts up 1/3 of the comments in a blog really shouldn't be calling anyone else a troll.

      And what on this sweet earth are you taking about with the "Irish-Catholic" bias? That is a charge I have never made. But then again, it doesn't make any difference who criticizes Bob, does it? In your mind, we are all the same.

    14. P.S. I sure hope you mend soon, and in the meantime, you get a visitor or two so you won't have to troll for attention on the Internet so obsessively.

    15. Irishguy, thanks very much. I'lm sorry and I'll take your very good advice.

      Not about the visitors though. I now have enough frozen soup, and homemade sandwich spreads to last through next year. Stay home!

    16. You got it exactly right, Cecelia: this blog, and your own comments, have nothing to do with the truth or actual life in America today.

      That's okay, because only a cynic could demand the truth or anticipate that the blog would reflect an external reality. And the expectation that Bob is interested in anything more than critiquing the latest salvo from Gail Collins or Rachel Maddow is clearly misguided, and cynical, as you so helpfully point out.

      I continue to find the charge of "relativism" perplexing from someone who claims there's truth to refer to, just two sides which must be regarded as equally depraved, but we'll let that pass.

    17. A troll is someone who derails the argument in order to attract attention to himself. I think Cecelia is a great deal more on-target and less disruptive than you Irish Guy, KZ, lower case guy, or the various anons whose main purpose seems to be to attack Somerby regardless of what he says. Someone who posts a lot is interested in the discussion when they are responding substantively and only a troll when they deliberately post comments that derail and disrupt discussion by introducing red herrings, specious controversy, personal insults, and meaningless garbage.

    18. for the record irish guy is not me.

      good work ig and kz et al. cant make it tonight so good work and dont let cm baffle you with bs a la teacher somerby.

  9. Anon12:44

    The blogger finds the Fox audience "folks, just plain folks" like Adam and Eve, pure babes in the wood who are fed untruths by the right that the blogger finds mildly bemusing at the most. When the denizens of the state that is sacred ground to the blogger (Texas) said "let them freeze in the dark" about Yankees during the later 1970s energy crisis - thats just one of those "darnedest things".

    However, It is pure evil on the part of liberals to put these people down.

    1. Actually, Anon12:44, he says it's pure evil if in the process of countering them, you become just like them.

      Me-- I think you are already worse.

  10. The President and Vice-President may be from the same state. It is not unconstitutional. To wit:
    Residency limitation[edit]
    While it is commonly held that the President and Vice President must be residents of different states, this is not actually the case. Nothing in the Constitution prohibits both candidates being from a single state. Instead, the limitation imposed is on the members of the Electoral College, who must cast a ballot for at least one candidate who is not from their own state.

    1. So would that limitation on the Electoral College work out in such a scenario, Anon1:30pm?

    2. In 2012's landslide Obama could have had a Democratic VP candidate from Illinois and Biden still would have won comfortably. Same in 2008. It's moot anyway. It's never done but it isn't "unconstitutional." It was a correction is all.

    3. I didn't mean Biden, I meant the would be VP candidate from Illinois would have been elected

  11. Anon1:30

    beautiful gotcha!

    Totally destroys the blogger's raison d'etre - which is snarking liberals with mind-numbing gotchas ("Zimmerman wasn't told to stay in his truck").

    Once you go down the route of gotchas all communication ceases and truth has no place in the resulting "he said - she said".

    1. Actually, Anon1:30pm, the blogger's argument was that Zimmerman was told "we don't need you to do that [follow Zimmerman]" after he had already gotten out if his truck.

      That wasn't a "he said - she said" it was taped communication.

  12. Perfectly put. Thanks, Bob

  13. I hardly ever read Bob anymore because of this type of crap. Get off of it Bob. There's a rhetorical war out there. Quit shooting your own, or are they your own? Which side you on, Bob? The people in rock red states deserve to be held to account for who they elect.

    1. I bet you guys even have "Love it or Leave it" DNC blue state bumper stickers nowadays.

  14. I was raised in New York with the kind of regional bigotry Bob and Lindy describe. I remember being shocked when a fellow student from Texas proved to be an outstanding physics major. Up until then, I had believed the myth that southerners were dumb.

    1. Very touching and inspirartional, David. And about as credible as your claims that global warming is a myth.

      Or will we will see a similar evolution of your political views?

    2. Anonymous, I believe in global warming. The globe has warmed around 2 degrees C since 1800. Temperature records clearly show this warming.

    3. I think David in Cal is also a Virginia-is-the-place-for-lovers denier.

      Doesn't want it taught in schools.

  15. "Meanwhile, at Salon, the commenters cheered him on."

    Yes, some Salon commenters cheered Grayson on. But others offered the following comments much more in line with Somerby's worldview:

    "he looks like a pedophile next on the list for acceptable lib behavior!"

    "When progressive liberals, including the president, are confronted with opposing points of view, they often resort to unfounded accusations or name-calling of the crudest sort. ... They consider themselves morally superior to the rest of us, so normal rules of conduct don't apply to them. Only in partisan Obama circles could the last five years be touted as a success. . . To progressives, success is determined by ideology rather than what is in the best interest of the people."

    "No links for the laundry list of supposed TEA party unpleasantness. A suspicious mind would conclude that these charges are unfounded."

    "as an independent democrat i have found that the most partisan, judgemental, closed minded people are "progresive" democrats. this article and the disgusting elitest comments are proof of how little you all know."

    "Pig vomit spews some more hate, Liberals lap it up. Just another day here."

    "Ask MLK what he thinks of the Democratic Party? Nevermind, you can't because he was assassinated by a Democrat who was inspired by another Democrat."

  16. Here's a question for you Anon. @ 7:23 based on advancing, not disrupting, the substance of your argument.

    "A troll is someone who derails the argument in order to attract attention to himself.....they deliberately post comments that derail and disrupt discussion by introducing red herrings, specious controversy, personal insults, and meaningless garbage."

    In between those two segments you said "I think Cecelia is a great deal more on-target and less disruptive than ,,,,,,,"

    Can you find a comment where Cecelia initiates a discussion of the substance of an issue that isn't simply saying amen to Somerby?

    Can you find a discussion where Cecelia actually refutes a substantive position advanced by a commenter she replies to.

    Can you find a discussion where Cecelia does not call someone a troll, a tyrant, a partisan or somehow question their motives or insult them.

    You may be able to find a quick quip or single reply.
    But you will be hard pressed to meet any other criteria.

    1. Cecelia is a force for good in the universe. You are not.

    2. Thank you for this lovely remark, Anon2:56.

  17. Here's what real liberal looks like. (Not particularly left. Just good old-fashioned liberal). TPM link to a Daily Show segment:

    Bob-lovers should take note in the Daily Show bit especially of the Lewis in picture with MLK moment. (I guess Bob understands MLK better than John Lewis. Like, yeah.)

    1. MANDVI: "I think the men in this picture would be ashamed of you throwing around the word, 'Racism.'"

      LEWIS: "I'm in that picture."


      Time now for Somerby to lecture Lewis about throwing around the "R" word just to show how morally superior "our tribe" is.