DISSONANCE OVERLOAD

In general, internet comment sections are where hope goes to die. If you want to go from a good mood to being on your knees praying for a comet to hit the Earth and wipe out humanity, the fastest way to accomplish that is to read the comment sections on any general interest website. Big content providers (AOL, Yahoo, YouTube, AP, etc.), local newspapers (for some reason the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is the worst I've ever seen aside from the NY Post), and non-political niche interest sites (cars, sports, fashion, entertainment, etc.) are all guaranteed to destroy your psyche in five minutes flat if you dare to wade into the comments. This is doubly true when the topic at hand is even remotely political. And of course the people who troll the internet as though it is their life's calling can turn anything into an Obama bitchfest in less than three posts.

Because we are well aware of how bad most comment sections are – and some are quite good, particularly on sites with educated, relatively narrow audiences – it's a lazy form of blogging to use comments as fodder. I can't think of anything easier than copying what some idiot wrote on a Trayvon Martin story and saying "Look at how stupid this is!" Yet I think a simple comment section can turn into a wonderful mix of performance art and psychology experiment when that rare news item comes along that ties the brains of the Obama loathing trolls in knots. Cognitive dissonance can be a beautiful thing sometimes.

Take this story from the internet's most popular blog on the auto industry. Headline: "Treasury orders executive pay cuts at GM including CEO Akerson." Imagine for a moment you are the kind of doughy, inchoate pant-wetter who sits at a computer all day posting comments about Barack HUSSEIN Obummer on every news item you see. Your mind is being torn in so many directions here.

1. The government is telling a corporation what it can do. Socialism. BAD.
2. GM might fail. Obama gave GM money (note: forget the bailouts under Bush). GM fail = GOOD.
3. Your authoritarian-follower tendencies mean you worship the wealthy, so limiting compensation = BAD.
4. Limiting compensation means "the best talent will leave the company", proving that Barry Hussein does not understand business. GOOD.
5. GM got a lot of money from taxpayers. They need to pay it back before giving themselves raises! GRRR!

So GM should pay back the taxpayers, but rich executives need to be lavishly compensated, but Obama doesn't understand the free market, but GM needs to fail to prove that he was stupid to give them money, but…

Watch them run in circles in the comments. It's hilarious. They can't decide piss and moan about Obama giving GM money or Obama telling GM that it can't have more money. A similar thing happened a few weeks ago when the Department of Energy declined to give a massive loan to would-be auto startup Carbon Motors (which has been the Duke Nukem II of auto startups, by the way). The comments are hysterical in every sense of the term. These people have spent years bellyaching about how the government shouldn't be propping up failing or non-viable companies, except now when the government declines to do so it hates America and doesn't understand job creation. So just to clarify, it is terrible when Obama gives car companies money except when he doesn't, which is also terrible.

We know that these people will complain, often with violent anger, about anything Obama does. It's a special treat, however, to watch them argue two diametrically opposed viewpoints just to keep the president in the wrong about everything. He must always be wrong, so adjust reality accordingly.

45 thoughts on “DISSONANCE OVERLOAD”

  • Advanced example of "doublethink". It's even worse than the time Obama was simultaneously called a racist Christian and a Muslim at the same time–everything has to be spun to make him look wrong.

  • The Mad Dreamer says:

    Duke Nukem II is a classic. It's Duke Nukem: Forever that took, well, forever to come out.

    That is all.

  • Go to U.S. Message Board if you want to look for the best loonies on the internet. Mostly politics, but there are other awful opinions on everything else.

  • @ The Mad Dreamer

    Hah, I was going to bring up that technically, the Duke Nukem comparison here would be… hm, Duke Nukem 6? There was that Manhattan Project… Duke Nukem time traveler on consoles… 1 and 2 in ye ol' DOS days, and DN 3D of course…

    Screw it. Call it Duke Nukem For-never.

  • I follow a twitter feed made up entirely of idiotic message board comments from one particular mainstream (read: right-wing, Murdoch-owned) paper. It's fantastic.

  • Ed, every time I hear someone rail against the comments sections in online media, I ask them to read your blog and focus on the comments here. Obviously, this is self selected, but I have read more intelligent commentary here then I have ever seen in any other publication.

    As a member of the lesser of these, I would like to take a moment to thank the contributors for their truly diligent efforts to inform your fellow man.

    While most blog posts make me want to Google the launch codes, you have all given me hope for the future. Thank you.

  • Middle Seaman says:

    I read some narrowly targeted blogs with supposedly selective readership. Reader have advanced degrees and good standing in their communities. The posts are absolutely great. The comments, however, are in many cases quite bizarre. You don't have the haters and the limited, but still… Is it that difficult to stick to a point?

    As a whole, we are way too closely related to apes.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    In Reich-wingers, I call this 'cognitive dissidence,' instead of "cognitive dissonance."

    A dissident is someone who is against government
    Even when government has something that will benefit the dissident.

    They should know better, but they don't.

    Of course, if "Baby Doc" Bush had done the exact same thing, or President Palin in the future, then all will be right with their world.

    Reich-wingers are followers, hence, follow the source. They hate anyone who doesn't hate the same people and things they hate.

    What's the matter with Kansas?
    Cognitive dissidence.

  • Townsend Harris says:

    One recurring trope among right-wing commenters is that "the left has gone too far" and "lost it" with its latest campaign/story/refutation.
    Hearing this is particularly gratifying for high school graduates who recall Freudian projection.

  • Number Three says:

    It's my Facebook news feed that makes me wish for the comet strike. (In my version of the faith, the FSM doesn't hear prayers.)

    Speaking of which, being a native Michigander, I will add that I can't figure people there out. The state, already seriously troubled, would have imploded if the Bush and then Obama admins hadn't acted. (Several municipalities won't make it, still.) But there are a lot of GOPpers in Michigan (I am FB friends with some of them) who think that saving their own state from collapse was Communism.

    The worst are the guys whose dads were in the union. Now, unions are the enemy to these guys–but they'd take a union job if there were any left.

    My "rule" on Facebook is that I don't reply on politics UNLESS the maroon has said that Democrats are anti-work. I always set them right–the Democrats put more people to work in Michigan than even Henry Ford.

  • YES! OH GOD YES! I can't stand these mainstream news site comment sections(ditto Youtube). Here are some highlights I have seen:

    1. A scandal in Russia where some soldiers of the honor guard became ill; it was determined that the new dress uniforms were not warm enough. Several idiots laughed at the idea that Russian soldiers would go into combat dressed like that. Yes, they thought that the Russian army decided to use parade uniforms in the field.

    2. A merchant vessel capsizes in the Indian Ocean. It isn't an American ship, but that doesn't stop the intrepid Yahoo commentators from blaming the mess on Obama.

    3. On a Youtube trailer for a shitty Russian film called 1612, a Polish commentator accuses the film of being Russian propaganda, all because the USSR attacked Poland in 1939. So the events of 1612-54 didn't happen because the USSR invaded Polish-held Lithuania, Belarus, and Western Ukraine. Tak.

    4. ANY video about any Balkan nationality, no exceptions. It can be about Serbs, Croats, Bosnian Muslims, Albanians, Macedonians, Greeks, Turks, Bulgarians, or Romanians. Whatever it is about, expect numerous rival nationalities invading the comments with accusations that nationality X stole everything they had from nationality Y.

  • I always like the part where Obama's a ruthless Chicago thug and a spineless appeaser all at the same time.

  • The right-wing commenters somehow manage to simultaneously believe that [1] "liberals" exert immense power and oppressive control via highly clever tactics and deceitfulness (e.g. the liberal media; stranglehold over academia and "science," brainwashing programs in public schools), and [2] that "liberals" are lazy, poor, and incompetent parasites who are completely dependent on (conservative) taxpayers, gullible and emotional dupes that are easily manipulated, and, finally weak, self-loathing cowards that, if they don't destroy themselves, can easily be 'beaten' and subdued.

    Although these comments come from the beliefs of individual right wingers, taken collectively, they reflect the overall conservative narrative–the one used in GOP political campaigns and as the basis of the arguments and talking points of extremely popular pundits like Hannity, Coulter, Rush, O'Reilly, Ingram, Beck, Levin, Malkin, et.al. As a narrative or composition, it is a self-contradicting syncretism of the kind that Umberto Eco famously described as intellectual foundation of Ur-fascism.

  • More broadly speaking though, it's just a standard symptom of "Us vs. Them" tribal mentality: everything They do is wrong and evil, and that is the only absolute Truth™. All other facets of reality will be parsed to conform to The Truth™.

    There is no cognitive dissonance when one's way of dealing with the world does not permit facts to be perceived in different ways. There is only The Truth™, which everything corroborates regardless of any other possible interpretation. cognitive dissonance is avoided simply by believing that everything confirms and supports The Truth™, no matter what.

    As a corollary, of course, anybody that is trying to sell you The Truth™ is trying to establish that same "Us vs. Them" tribal mentality in you. Once it's been established, you become loyal to them as they then become the purveyors of The Truth™, and cease to question the new Us.

  • Several people here have referenced the astounding ability of right-wingers to hold contradictory beliefs and suffer no ill effects. Reminds me of Bob Altemeyer's book, The Authoritarians, where he discusses his thirty years of studying the thinking of authoritarian followers. Free and downloadable, by the way at http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

    As to the quality of the comments on this blog, I think it was here that I was first referred to Dr. Bob.

  • How right you are. The comments section of my local paper is awful in general and really awful if the topic has anything to do with any of the troll favorites: public sector workers, illegal immigrants, welfare recipients, etc. And Ed is right- within a few comments, Obama and/or liberals/democrats get the blame for whatever the trolls are ranting about.

  • Aw, don't hate on the poor little conservatives and their poor little authoritarian brains. They only commit doublethink so they have a chance of being half-right for once.

  • Teah Baggeur says:

    I blame Obama for only letting liberals comment here, so it's worth reading. It must be some sort of government regulation of Ed's commenters. See, Obama hates the first amendment, since Ed is totally an organ of the government!

  • This is the one consolation of Obama's endless tacks to the right. Conservatives clearly hate Obama more than ass cancer – he could give John Derbyshire a Supreme Court nomination and they wouldn't be happy – but it gets harder and harder to attack him and "liberals" simultaneously without completely losing the plot.

    @John:
    I think the unspoken right-wing narrative is that roach-like minorities are exploiting the secret liberal rulers of the world, who keep giving them handouts (at the expense of white men, who are totally capable of self-governance but too easily snowed by Soros-funded propaganda) because they feel guilty. Or something.

  • I liked how The Republican Brain started out with the tale of the tragic death of Condorcet, it set the Deus Irae tone for the entire book if you're of the Liberal mindset.

    Brain studies, stress studies [check out the latest on rhesus monkeys, social rank, and blood levels of immune system cells], all point to something deeply biological going on in the conservative brain that actually prevents them from using facts and evidence as a tool against harsh reality. Seems it's all about power and social standing and emotion, hence their feeling that Price notes of being manipulated by smarty pants.

    Because it's true. Science works. But it's impossible to reason with those who are so terrified of that reality that they cement themselves into mental bunkers of religious Truth and tribalism. It makes absolute sense to them in terms of stress reduction to mentally ally themselves with their rich overlords, whom they perceive as having more social power than the scientific intelligentsia. [Little do they know that our Doritos and fructose plot is succeeding, bwahahahahahaaaa]

    Still, I find it hard not to want to be a Jacobin. Let's do the bankers and financiers next, shall we?

  • I'm still trying to figure out if we're a bunch of leeching welfare-queens or a bunch of elitist limousine-liberals.

  • Lord Corwin says:

    Price Says: "The right-wing commenters somehow manage to simultaneously believe that [1] "liberals" exert immense power and oppressive control via highly clever tactics and deceitfulness (e.g. the liberal media; stranglehold over academia and "science," brainwashing programs in public schools), and [2] that "liberals" are lazy, poor, and incompetent parasites who are completely dependent on (conservative) taxpayers, gullible and emotional dupes that are easily manipulated, and, finally weak, self-loathing cowards that, if they don't destroy themselves, can easily be 'beaten' and subdued."

    Absolutely—but similar contradictions beset the general left, which tends to understand the right wing as composed of [1] a Star Chamber-like alliance of unimaginably wealthy capitalists who steal elections and brainwash the populace (read, the Koch brothers) and [2] the ignorant, uneducated and largely powerless, from racist yahoos to soccer moms in their SUVs, who are motivated primarily by fear. They, too, are seen as gullible and emotional, easily manipulated by the likes of Glenn Beck. You will say, quite rightly, that both are true, however: the "right wing" is an organism with a head (the Koch bros) and a body (the evangelicals, the yahoos, the fleet of mediocrity in their SUVs). More accurately, both are uneasy coalitions of disparate groups—and on the left, it would be fair to say we have a lot of people in science, education, and culture—plus groups that are more working class (immigrants, African-Americans, unions, etc.—there is overlap between these groups, of course). How much does a scientist, a professor of comparative literature, or a journalist resemble an African-American member of the machinists' union, or a Mexican-American immigrant who has become a civil servant? They do have common interests, but also very different ones, and they are motivated by very different appeals.

  • Lord Corwin – for some reason, the image of a turtle comes to mind – a big conservative/rightist shell with liberal/leftist head and feet.

    Maybe I need to change my prescription.

  • My right wing sister who loves to rail against the government and entitlement programs had to wait to become eligible for Medicare to get a problem with her legs seen to. This was because she said she and her husband couldn't afford private insurance after he retired. When I pointed out to her that it looked like Medicare sure did come in handy for her and her husband, she sputtered a lot and said "well, changes have to be made in the program." Oh, and she told me last year that she and her husband are millionaires.

    Yeah. Whatever. Keep enjoying those entitlements, sis!

  • Teah Baggeur says:

    @Major Kong: I think you are all elitist welfare queens who get driven in limousines to the welfare office to pick up your unearned free government money.

  • I love the right wingers who insist on buying American but hate unions. Before they buy the car, do they do what annoying liberals do before they buy a chicken to certify its spirituality? Where was this car made? Was it made in a place where unions are banned? Was it made by workers who are whipped while assembling the car? It was? Slaves even? Great. Put me down for one.

  • I'm sorry, but I have to go all Glenn Greenwald on this thread: The left is guilty of possibly the most glaring cognitive dissonance and most despicable about face in recent memory, and that is our collective stance on the national security state.

    When Bush was eavesdropping on American citizens, locking people up in Guantanamo and hiding everything in a cloak of secrecy, most everyone I know thought we were on the swift to fascism.

    Now that BO has seen Bush's hand and raised him an ever-escalating drone war, the targeted assassination of American citizens without trial, and an all-out war on whistle blowers…. nary a peep from the left.

  • NYD3030 – do you mean "the left" or "the democrats"? Personally I guess you would say I am on the left and I did give Obama the benefit of the doubt his first year. Since then I am both furious at & disgusted with all the policies you mention & quite a few more notably his economic polices and the utter failure of his DOJ to reign in any of the abuses. You can be sure in 2012 he won't get my vote or any money and I won't advise any I know to support him either.

  • NYD3030 and Glenn Greenwald and Naomi Wolf are correct. When I point out that Barack Obama and Joe Biden (proud author of the USA Patriot Act) are both guilty of tearing up the constitution and wiping their asses with it, by flagrant ignoring the first amendment (freedom of the public to peaceably assemble, now abolished courtesy of the new congressional bill Obama signed into law which makes it a felony to peacefully demonstrate on federal property), the fourth amendment (freedom from unreasonable search and seizure; NSA building giant new data centers to archive all the emails and phone calls and bank records they're illegally recording from every citizen in America — also, can you say "Border search of your cellphone and laptop" and TSA groping and naked body scanning?), the fifth amendment (right to due process; Eric Holder should be disbarred and impeached for his ludicrous claim that firing a hellfire missile to murder an American citizen who has never even been accused of a crime is "due process"), the sixth amendment (right to trial by jury; when Obama ordered the assassination of a U.S. citizen without trial, that one went away), the eighth amendment (prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment; the Red Cross says torture continues at the second secret prison at Bagram Airbase as of 2010, and an international human rights committee just verified that Bradley Manning's treatment was cruel and inhuman) and the fourteenth amendment (guaranteeing respect for the citizen's civil rights; meanwhile, Obama complacently signs off on the use of LRAD sonic cannon to permanently deafen peaceful demonstrators)…

    …When I point these grotesque violations of the constitution under Biden and Obama, I'm accused of being "mentally ill" and "in need of therapy" and "sick in the head" and "insane" and "a crazy person." When I pointed out these exact same grotesque violations of the constitution under the Drunk-Driving C Student from Texas and his torturer sidekick Dick Cheney, people applauded me.

    Obviously Dubya and Cheney need to be impeached, tried for treason, and when the verdict for that capital crime comes in, they need to be punished accordingly — take your pick of a firing squad or a hanging. But Obama and Biden have also ripped up the constitution and trashed it, leaving hardly anything left of the Bill of Rights, so both Obama and Biden need to be impeached and thrown in prison. Eric Holder should be disbarred, impeached, and dumped into prison for life without parole for gross malfeasance, conspiracy to commit the murder of Anwar Al-Awlaki, murder with special circumstances, obstruction of justice, and aiding and abetting felony murder.

  • I loathe most comment threads, but enjoy G&T commenters quite a lot. Very rare are we subjected to trolls (except those of the obvious nature: dookie, I'm looking at you). Even our resident conservative shows respect, humor, and intelligence. Though I don't recall ever agreeing with bb from ga, he doesn't seem to suffer from the dissonance overload that this post talks about. Occasionally, he gives me new perspective.

    The rest of you often challenge me as well. I plan to vote for Obama again this year, unlike some of you. If you think the constitution and bill of rights have been trampled by Obama, think what a supreme court that doesn't even have to worry about Kennedy as a "swing vote" can do. Count me as someone who wants to slow down this ride to hell, and I'll be damned if I'm going to tacitly support a President Romney by letting the perfect be the enemy of the good (or the less-bad). Would I prefer another alternative? A third party perhaps? Hell yeah, but that ain't gonna happen in presidential politics anytime soon. Third parties need to build from the ground up, so I'll support them at the local level until they're viable beyond that level, then I'll keep on supporting them up through the ranks…

    Anyway, thanks for providing me with some hope as I wade through the cesspool.

  • I have no patience for those on the left who seem to think that if we could just get the right person in the office of the presidency, everything would be perfect, because the President is ALL-POWERFUL {crash of thunder}. Also, it follows from this that anything that happens in the government or society happens because the President willed it so, so great is his power. The other branches of government? Meh, just accessories. Popular opinion? Naw, no biggie. That's why Obama is responsible for Gitmo still being open. It's not that more than 90% of the Senate voted against closing it or that the vast majority of cowardly Americans don't want terrists on their holy soil. Nope, it's all Obama's fault.

    Of course, this is also stupid when coming from the right, but I'm not bothered when my enemies are stupid. Like the Ron Paul fantasists who think that if only we got Ronnie in there, we'd end all the wars immediately and legalize the green. I almost wish that fucker did get elected so the assholes could watch their hero break every one of his promises.

    It doesn't really matter, though. Everyone who can possibly get elected will have a corporate taint, everyone who is elected will compromise their promises, and if that person wants to be reelected and remembered as a great President that person will kill a lot of people. The American people will accept no less.

    Obama is the best this country can do. Don't pretend you're fixing that problem by voting Nader again.

  • if Obama is the best this country can do, the Reich wingers deserve it, lock stock and barrel. a gun analogy, i might add.

    anyone who votes for Obama is complicit, just as the Reich wingers are and have been seen St. Ronnie sold us to the Fascists.

    so, enjoy your rant against the Left who has joined the Reich in helping fascism, right or left.

    sorry, i have no love of crooks, thieves or liars. Reich winger or otherwise.

  • I'm sorry that this fallen world doesn't measure up to your lofty standards, Bernard. Clearly the solution is to bitch about it in a comment section, since trying to solve or mitigate problems might require compromise and that's the same thing as fascism for Obama's Fifth Reich.

    But if you're too precious and perfect to be tainted by voting for anyone who is less that perfect in your shining eyes, I hope you're out there working for change in some other way, like forming non-governmental community support entities or working with Occupy or trying to form a viable third party. Because if your electoral strategy is just to browbeat anyone who works within the system for not matching your fantasy of how politics should work, I gotta say that's pretty pathetic.

    Sorry that the world sucks. Deal with it or cry.

  • Lord Corwin says:

    Wow—what an explosion of dicktastic assholery here at the end.

    First off, everyone has the right to make up his or her mind on their own about whom to vote for, or whether to vote at all. To criticize Obama, even in strenuous terms, does not mean that one isn't going to vote for him. Jrod, this is the comments section on a blog—we're *all* bitching about things in the comments section of a blog, including you. Bernard may be spending the rest of his waking hours organizing anti-Obama protests—we don't know. I find the argument (stop whining, the world's not perfect, put up or shut up) in your comments completely fallacious, on multiple fronts. First, agreed that the President isn't all powerful, and that closing Gitmo wasn't entirely up to him. But assassination of American citizens with no due process was. Indefinite detention with no charges filed was. Demonstration on federal property re-defined as a felony rather than a Constitutional right—all of these are policy changes the President chose to sign off on or implemented himself.

    Second, is it comically "lofty standards" to think we should have habeas corpus, trials by jury in capital cases, the right to peaceable assembly? Is this really a target for your derision? These are legitimate beefs that a reasonable person could have with the President, and they are serious. We all make decisions about what's most important to us, and at some point, we have to have a line that can't be crossed. Obama hasn't crossed that line for you and for many of my friends—I respect that. He has crossed it for me—you could respect that, or you could puff up into a big bag of sarcasm and call me pathetic. I only see one person in this thread who is "browbeating" people for "not matching your fantasy of how politics should work."

  • lol, I really enjoy the way the Right has lost its' "cool" over the Kenyan Muslim Usurper, lol. that alone is enough for me to benefit from the stupidity that resides on the Right. such a gift of pure inanity is hard to even imagine. after all the Right creates to maintain their "victim" status in America, to have the Right go batshit crazy is a joy to behold.

    if you like Obama, well, vote for him and what not. for me, Obama is the perfect Manchurian Candidate of the Right. Only Obama has been able to "touch"/ attack Social Security.

    i frankly judge a man, the President, that is, by what he does. and Obama gives me more than enough "proof" that Mitt Romney couldn't be quite as destructive to the Safety Net issues as Obama already has been. of course, the Democrats could prove me wrong once again, when Romney takes over.

    that scenario is highly unlikely at the rate the local Republicans continue to fuck over women and latinos, et al.
    Republican hatred is stronger than their desire to take control of the White House, Mitt Romney aside.

    i just see evil in its' various manifestations and forms, and watching the Obamabots parrot the Bushites idiocy, well, lol. a rose is a rose is a rose

    i do know some Republicans who will actually vote for Obama this time. Now, that is fear in its' clearest state.

    Ain't America Great or what!!

  • I know it's a bit late but here's another example of dissonance overload: Recently the "scandal of the week" was Obama telling Medvedev he could be more "flexible" after the election. Of course Tea Partiers interpreted this as Obama agreeing to surrender the Midwest to Russia, which many believe is still Communist. Of course the real topic at hand was the missile defense shield. This creates a little problem when someone says they are a "fiscal conservative." First of all, the missile shield program is going ahead, despite objections from Russia. Therefore it has always been Russia, not the US, which has been backing down on this point. The reason why this project stalled in the first place(aside from the fact that it's a big waste of money which hasn't been proven and it's designed to meet a threat which doesn't exist) is because the Czech people were livid about the radar base being built in their country. This was serious business- some Czechs went on hunger strike against this. Only one party in the Czech government demanded a referendum on the issue- the Communist party. But I digress.

    The point is that the missile shield is going ahead, whether Russia likes it or not. Now if you're a fiscal conservative so upset about taxes, it's hard to think of a more wasteful undertaking than this bullshit pork project. Therefore, had Obama told Medvedev, "Hey Dimka, I'm a Marxist-anti-colonial Muslim America hater trained by Saul Alinsky, I'm scrapping this whole deal," he would have saved the tax payers untold billions of dollars(remember, there's the money for the construction, the personnel, etc.). Of course Obama didn't say this. So this flexibility means instead of building this wasteful project in some countries, they will build it in some other countries. But we all know that conservatives are if nothing else, incurious people. They do not go out to research things beyond what they are told by their trusted sources. If you try to explain this to them their eyes glaze over and you can almost hear them thinking, "Missile shield? Azerbaijan? What the HELL is this wacko leftist talking about?"

    On an unrelated note: I have to say I'm really enjoying the campaign strategy of Obama supporters as of late.

    "Hey you stupid ignorant hippies! So what if Obama didn't snap his fingers and make all your utopian hippy dreams come true? Fucking Marxist stoners like you don't understand how the American government works. Get out and vote for Obama, stupid!"

    It's almost identical to Ron Paul's "Vote for Ron Paul you stupid brainwashed dipshit who doesn't understand economics like I do!"

    Can't imagine why that won't work. But I have to say my mind's made up. After seening his slick campaign ad, I'm voting for KONY 2012. He's a real Washington outsider.

  • Number Three, I've lived in Michigan for about eight years. You nailed it with:

    The worst are the guys whose dads were in the union. Now, unions are the enemy to these guys–but they'd take a union job if there were any left.

    It makes my head spin.

  • @Lord Corwin: Did you miss the fact that I was responding to a person who explicitly said that they were not voting for Obama? Not just that, but ze said that anyone who does is "complicit". Complicit in what? Presumably ze means that if you vote for Obama you're basically a murderer on the same level as any spree killer. That's right, if in 2008 you decided to take your chances with Obama rather than Bomb-Bomb-Bomb-Iran McCain or Too-Stupid-to-Breathe Palin, you're a vile criminal.

    Obviously the correct response to that is, "Oh, you're so right. How can my conscience bear the weight of this perfidy? Sure, had McCain been elected we'd probably be at war with Iran right now, and we certainly wouldn't have pulled troops from Iraq, but that doesn't matter. Also there'd be a solid conservative majority on the Supreme Court today, so everything from Brown v. BoE to Roe v. Wade would be history, but that's a big nothingburger. I am a bad, bad person for choosing the lesser of two evils; for failing to be pure. I am off to commit seppuku now, as that is the only way to atone for my horrifying crimes."

    How noble of you to venture that Obama might possibly not be solely responsible for failing to close Gitmo. I mean, the Senate only voted against it 90-6. Surely Obama could have flipped 50 of those votes. Somehow. And maybe the 65% of Americans who opposed closing Gitmo might bear some responsibility. Hell, it kinda looks like the only people who actually wanted the prison closed are you, me, and Obama. But Obama must bear some of the blame for the prison not closing, because… what? How is he responsible in any way? What was within his power that could have changed the outcome?

    And honestly, I'm tired of the bawling about "the government can assassinate Americans without trial" crap. Yeah, I know they can. They've been able to do so since long before Obama was around. Right now, anywhere in the US, a cop can cold murder you for no reason and get away with it. Even if they're caught on tape shooting you in the head execution style, they'll get away with it. Hell, the cop will be hailed as a hero by many. I find the thought that I might be declared a terrorist and hunted down by drones far less frightening than the thought that any cop can kill me at any time for any reason, considering that the former was invoked once to kill an honest-to-gosh terrorist and the latter happens all the fucking time.

    I guess that's my real problem with all of this extreme Obama bashing. It seems like people want to make him a scapegoat for the nastiness of American culture. Like if only we got Kucinich or whoever in there things would be better. They wouldn't, because Americans don't want better.

    That is, Americans who vote don't want better. People who don't vote don't get factored in, for obvious reasons. And I find it just hilarious that, at the same time that the Republican Party is running an all out voter suppression blitz, my colleagues on the left are telling me I shouldn't vote. Hilarious like stepping in dog shit.

  • Another Halocene Human says:

    @Jrod,

    You nailed it. Americans don't want better. 2009 proved it. My only hope is that as time goes on, and OBL remains dead, that the fear in US society will abate and some sanity will finally prevail about Gitmo and other issues. You are so, so correct about our effective lack of rights in this country. It's a fact that drives many college students into libertarianism, only to get played, and played big time.

    The best we can hope for right now is a more moderate supreme court. Even that will be a struggle. This is the problem the liberal-leftist-NPR coalition has had since ever–the other side is dead serious and playing for keeps.

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