Was I wacked at HotAir?

In a word,

NOPE

Didn’t happen, but I can see why some people might think it must have, especially anyone aware of the fact that I’ve been blogging away as usual or even more so, yet not publishing at the HotAir Greenroom.  We’ve heard here from one – possibly not very sane – individual who assumed that, having finally p-o’d the “boss” one p too o, I had been ordered to turn in my badge and gun, saber broken in two, branded, marked with the liberal’s shame, or anyway cut off.   He claimed further to have it on “good authority” that that, Mr. and Mrs. America, is the way it was.

So, to put things plainly:  They did not sack me.  Though some HotAir-ites have made it abundantly clear that they don’t care for my style, for my approach, for my interests, or for my views or what they take to be my views, neither Ed nor Allahpundit has ever hinted at a problem with critical, divergent, or provocative opinions – including ones that openly confront theirs.

In another sense, though, I’ve got to say

YEP!

Of course, I was kicked off the team – squelched, booted, sacked, rejected, exiled, proscribed, defenestrated.

Now, let me emphasize for anyone skimming:  Neither Ed nor AP even once gave me the slightest indication that I wasn’t welcome or wouldn’t be welcome anymore. Indeed, the last e-mail I got from Ed, cc’d to AP, stressed how happy they were with my contributions and general conduct.

Except…

Well –  about that last e-mail.

It happened to have been prompted by an “incident.” I had insisted that the conversation under one of my posts remain on topic and non-personalized, but the commenters in question, two of my biggest HotAir fans, with some volunteer support, refused my demand.  Taking advantage of my Greenroomer’s prerogative, I deleted their defiant replies.

I don’t know or care exactly who complained to the big guys, but, to make a short story shorter, Ed backed the rascals, whom he referred to as two of the site’s “best commenters.”   Neither he nor AP ever replied to my request for clarification on Greenroomer prerogatives, trolling guidelines, and other terms of use issues (esp. regarding religious defamation and associated concerns).   The comments I had deleted were restored.

The commenters took the results as a victory for themselves personally and for the kind of place they want HotAir to be.  And they were right to do so.

My only post since that time was a direct reply to having been “called out” by AP.  The post wasn’t “green-headlined,” much less featured, but the fans were back, insults blazing.  There was nothing to make me feel that I achieved anything, at HotAir anyway, beyond, at most, standing up for myself and sorting out my own thoughts.

OK – WAS IT “POLITICAL”?

Except in the sense that no one who mattered ever invoked what the far lefties call “line differences,” of course it was, and is, “political.”

Around six months ago, around the time that I was realizing just how annoyed with Glenn Beck I’d become, and reflecting on how much, unlike most conservatives, I enjoyed the movie Avatar, I started feeling a lot more comfortable criticizing conservatives and conservative positions than cheering them on.

I had originally hoped that the work that resulted would be taken as usefully challenging, that it might encourage fellow conservatives to reflect on potentially self-limiting, overly ideological and groupthunk approaches.  Instead, I mainly met resistance, and the more resistance to criticism that I discovered, the more justified I felt in escalating.

There was also some encouragement – greedily devoured morsels of praise from commenters and bloggers, even some e-mail correspondence with well-known conservatives who, like, suddenly even knew my name!  “Oh, you’re that CK?” is a question I may never have had to answer if AP hadn’t been kind enough to invite me in on the initial Greenroom experiment last year.  Nor would I likely have been able to conduct public debates with well-known conservative figures.

All well and good, exciting if you’re just a knows-no-one has-nothing guy from the middle of anywhere, typing away instead of tending his day job, but I never got the impression that my support in HotAir-land was growing, or that the attention was leading anywhere.  To the contrary, the comment threads seemed to be getting more uniformly negative, and more derogatorily so, now with complicity from on high… and an e-mail from so-and-so every few months isn’t anything to dine out on.

In addition to experiencing diminishing returns, I’ve also been sensing cross purposes.  It’s not just that conservative comrades, including bloggers whom I’d recommended for HotAir Greenroom gigs, stopped linking to or visiting or co-authoring at Zombie Contentions.  It’s that maybe being “that CK” – “CK from HotAir” – isn’t or shouldn’t be what I want, either because I belong on some other team or because I’m not suited to team play.

In other words, I came to recognize that, if being an “American conservative” in good standing requires, for instance, what I believe opposition to the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” has exemplified – in two words, religious bigotry – then I’m not a conservative in good standing.  I’ve come to feel the same way about a number of other issues, in fact about most topics, events, and personalities I’ve been finding interesting enough to want to discuss.

I could launch an historical-philosophical argument about how my perspective represents some better, more authentic conservatism.  I could explain why I still feel compelled to articulate my positions in relation to American conservatism.  But, even if I had ever been enough in love with the label to fight for it, I’d still have reason to stand down at HotAir, where, if there are supportive lurkers and non-registered readers, they have not found a way to make themselves known (much); where the head honchos, though they have not banished me, have overruled me in favor of those who attack me for being myself; and where any defense of a conservatism with which I could be comfortable inspires “True Conservatives” to accuse me of blogging under false pretenses.

Moreover, from that TC point of view, which dominates at HotAir, I am a demon android Hell-bound freak in conservative sheep’s clothing.

At Zombie Contentions, we’ve lost several co-authors and regular participants in a more intimate version of the disagreements with Ed, AP, and the True Conservatives.  I’d apologize, if I thought there was something to apologize for, but in offering to host and build this web site just almost a year ago, after the great exile from Contentions, as earlier when accepting the invitation to blog at HA’s new Greenroom, the last thing on my mind was a sectarian enterprise – or even less to keep my thoughts to myself.

If our obscure little circle expands, great.  If it can’t or shouldn’t, or even if it fades to nothing – so be it.

Instead of apologizing, I’ll take it upon myself to congratulate everyone’s who’s left for preferring contentious discussion over the insistence on a particular content, or on a particular set of contentions favorable to one side or another in the great political divides of the day before yesterday (but not the prior).

Last thought on HA, for now:  Maybe I was already gone a long time ago.  Maybe I was never really there.  Sometimes, it just takes a little while for a site to load properly – due to server, coding, caching, browser issues… that kind of thing.  You never know what may turn up, or disappear, the next time you hit “refresh.”


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52 comments on “Was I wacked at HotAir?

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  1. @ CK MacLeod:

    and pose again for another nice picture like the one above.

    once more………….

    On, on, you noblest Zombie
    Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
    Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
    Have in these parts from morn till even fought
    And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
    Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
    That those whom you call’d fathers did beget you.
    Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
    And teach them how to war.

  2. For instance, I had originally intended to post THIS post there – but wouldn’t it just be taken as an attack? Why isn’t the insane guy right – that I don’t belong over there (and am worse than Stalin in the nude)? It’s not a “general interest political web site” or trying to be one. It’s an asylum for conservatives owned by a conservative media syndicate and committed to a keeping things that way. My only reason for being there would be to change their minds about who and what they are against their will.

    You visited there and participated. Did you get the impression that I was doing my position more good than “having made my point and bowed out” does?

  3. @ CK MacLeod:

    I’m still (or not-so still) “over there”

    I got sent there, IIRC.

    You’ll do yourself and your position little good over there, and none by staying away.

    You’ll find the right thing to post and the right way to deal with the comments.

    Take a little time and chew on it till it’s cool.

  4. Come on CK, Hot Air is not such a font of orthodoxy, C4P for instance
    arose out of some visitors there, including two that now advise the
    Gov. frustration with Allah’s RINOishness and the proliferation of trolls
    like fair Kate the eugenic bot. Now the GR I consider a cut above,

  5. Parson Logic T ReFog wrote:

    Take a little time and chew on it till it’s cool.

    It would be unrealistic to exclude that as a possibility – keep hitting refresh. But I think it would take some things happening that I don’t see happening, and some things not happening that I see happening.

  6. Just remember that I had never heard of Morrissey or read anything by him before that, so I wouldn’t know if he always sounds ….sane and inhuman.

    Also remember that I’m surprised that he does so sound, for few others there strike me as likely to be either.

  7. I actually met Morrisey once, and he seems a nice guy, Allah I suspect
    is some kind of replicant or other mechanism, last seen on ‘Space Above and Beyond,’ one of those underrated series destroyed by Fox’s
    promotional department, along with Firefly

  8. CK,I was thinking about our sense of Societal Superiority,and religious bigotry towards Islam,like their biggest export is the suicide bomber. (BTW as an aside,our biggest export in the last decade has been Mortgage Based derivatives,talk about Suicide) Anyway, if its fair to paint Islamic Society as a generator of suicide bombers and honor killers,is it unfair to paint American society as a generator of Serial Murderers and Rapists? The only difference that I see between a Serial Murderer and a Suicide Bomber is Timeframe,the former takes years to kill his 50-100,the latter does it at once. I understand that currently there are more than 200 KNOWN Serial Killers operating in the US,that’s 4 per state. And who can keep up with Rapists,their # is Legion. We spend a lot of time pinpointing the aspects of Islamic society that produce their monsters,but we have a process that minimizes our society’s responsibility in producing our monsters. We say that we have freedom here,and the cost of Freedom is that we can Choose to be a Serial Murderer. In Iran,with its lack of Freedom,I’m guessing that its difficult for Serials to flourish. Last year there were less than 100 total murders in Holland with a population of 14 million. In my city,an area of less than 300,000 produces 300 murders per year. I’m I being unfair here?

  9. Morrissey and AP face numerous challenges, among them being a certain distance between their own political outlooks and the ones that dominate in the HotAir community. The community is important, because it’s not like the two of them all by themselves, even if they were superduper geniuses, could consistently generate more and better content than FrumForum, Daily Beast, the Corner, the Weekly Standard, and any other site of potential interest to the same people who might drop by HA. Without the community, it’s just a two-blogger commentary on the headlines, with annoying coding problems (in Firefox anyway). The community has been shaped in part by factors not entirely under their control, but to the extent it’s in their power to cultivate it, I think they’ve made some wrong moves.

    I’m biased, but the way I see it, they were promoting my work, and using it to incite debates, as though they were interested in creating a broader community where intellectual debate was possible, and then, at a moment of decision, they decided to back the yahoos. They sent me a very Hollywood e-mail: Oh we so love your work, let’s do lunch… someday. Then embraced the commenters’ position – not even answering my e-mail or acknowledging my position, or responding to my concerns on issues that I consider fundamental.

    I shouldn’t have to tolerate that kind of treatment, while doing the ideological work they should be doing on their community, unpaid. They made a choice.

  10. Ouch, that kind of strikes me as unwarranted, then again I liked Ed better when he was Captain’s Corner, breaking Ad SCam and Allah’s
    more light hearted solo effort

  11. Rex Caruthers wrote:

    I’m I being unfair here?

    No, you’re just writing like a demon android Hell-bound freak. And a commie, too.

    We treat the “other world” as though it’s inferior, but the thing that’s supposed to make us superior is the thing we suppress in order to treat them as inferior. It’s supposed to be our willingness to see the world without blinkers on, to begin with subjective uncertainty and let the “market” decide, but events force us to enter the market ourselves, submitting our limited subjective certainty against all the others.

    Take the “chief export is suicide bombers.” First of all, that’s false. Ludicrously false – though I’m not supposing you ever believed it. The chief export of the “Islamic world” is very likely petroleum, unless it’s Muslims, unless it’s Islam. Reasonably or supposedly intelligent and rational people can be found uttering your line, perhaps having forgotten that it was a joke, or reading it without giving it a second thought, because they’re on the subjective team in which everything is justified if the team captains and coaches say it advances the ball. That’s ideology and polemics. It has no independent truth value. It’s merely consistent with the paramount goals of unity in aggression and destruction of the other side. It’s only in a schizo-paranoid universe in which reality and its mediations cannot be distinguished from each other, in which symbolic exports are measured by the eye of the beholder, that sentences like “their chief export is suicide bombers” make sense. To be charitable, for a few days or so in September 2001, there was some material truth to it. To be less charitable, why wouldn’t the schizo-paranoids on the other side be at least as justified in saying that America’s chief exports are bombs, missiles, soldiers, and destabilization (incl. esp. financial “products”)?

  12. narciso wrote:

    that kind of strikes me as unwarranted,

    Was there a particular antecedent to the initial pronoun?

    Otherwise, you tempt me to sacrifice the righteousness of my opinions on the altar of payback. I’ll just say instead that I thought my criticisms of Ed and AP were quite mild compared to what someone who didn’t care about sacrificing the righteousness etc. might say.

  13. Yes they do, say that, every day, in McClatchy, the Times, the Post, the Guardian, et al , and that’s just among those who as Glenn Reynolds says, ‘are on the other side’ this is how they rationalize every word and deed first of Communism, and now Salafi and Wahhabis

    Now it’s shorthand, much like the oft quoted comment about Western Media, which has a sliver of truth to it, not like the equivalence of the CDS

  14. narciso wrote:

    this is how they rationalize every word and deed first of Communism, and now Salafi and Wahhabis

    And that’s where you get schizo-paranoid. GR is still rooted enough not to argue that the news sources you name “are on the other side.” He makes the argument regarding certain activists or writers, and usually in regard to very narrow issues. “They” is paranoid talk. I interpret the antecedent as “everyone within a maximally broadly defined group in addition to whoever actually deserves to be defamed by the extreme charges I’m making.”

    Your next move is to characterize this comment of mine into a supposed reprimand of anyone who dares to utter a peep in criticism of Salafism, Wahhabism, or Communism, or media enablers – as though the import of your statement was merely a peep in criticism rather than a blanket indictment on charges of treason.

  15. did they ever explain to you why the comments were restored? were you too something-and/or-other to ask for an explanation?

  16. What do they do with the oil revenue, CK, they funnel into zakats like IIRO, Rabita, WAMY, which subsidize the kind of institutions one sees
    outside of DC, in Finsbury Park, the organizations that recruited Hamid
    to Gamaa Islamiya, which you can’t even point out publically or you incur the kind of hardship that Levant, Steyn and Bawer, not to mention Van Gogh have suffered

  17. @ fuster:
    In the e-mail addressing the deleted comments and my conduct, Ed mentioned among other things that they couldn’t review the deleted comments to help them render a judgment on the controversy. In my never-answered reply e-mail I told them where the comments could (of course) be found (on the “Pending” page where “unapproved” e-mails go first before possibly being “Trashed” on the way to, finally, being “Permanently Deleted”). I found out later through the commenters themselves about their victory.

    Don’t see why any explanation’s necessary. Ed had already indicated that they disagreed with how I had exercised my prerogative as moderator of my own thread. As a result of their intervention, HotAir enjoyed the benefit of having a handful of “neener, neener, neener, CK’s an arrogant schmuck” comments restored. Beyond that, and the only real effect, was that CK was reprimanded, embarrassed, and demeaned, while MadCon and OhioCoastie were endorsed, vindicated, and raised up (as all right-thinking people of course deem proper).

    As for being “too something-and/or-other,” my sense of s-a/o-o-ness has grown as I’ve reflected on the events. Before it could sink in, AP had “called me out,” which I took as a possible gesture of respect (I can’t really know – he may have thought he was showing me up).

    That led to the second Fight Them All Together post. One reason I haven’t gone back (other than a minimal comment here or there), is hesitation about disturbing the parting tableau: My “last post,” ending with “Peace Be Upon You.” A relatively short (for one of my posts) comment thread coda (including a kind of farewell to the commenters encore), and then, finally, a last insult from OhioCoastie (he calls me a “gasbag”). It’s like a blog-opera or something.

    If AP had responded again – either in a post or via e-mail, or by promoting the post – it would have shown me something. He chose not to show me anything.

  18. lawl, failed message discipline, did you?
    AllahP and I were friends once upon a time, before Malkin pithed and neutered him.
    its a paycheck, don’t take it personal.
    Morrissey OTOH is just stupid.

  19. @ strangelet:
    Are you sure you and AP were “friends”? Maybe he just thought you were a potential date.

    My view on AP is that positions on two things mainly establish his “conservative” identity and are also the main ideological anchors at HotAir: Islam and Immigration. The rest would just be conventional Republican coalition politics, but hostility toward Muslims and illegal immigrants (or toward any compromises on the subjects) skews the community further to the right, favoring those politically drawn to cultural self-defense out of whatever mixtures of panic, paranoia, apocalypticism, bitter childhood experiences, radicalism, etc.

    Even the name “Allahpundit” operates as a blinking neon invitation to anti-Muslim blasphemy and bigotry. (This has always bothered me, incidentally.) As for his attitude on immigration, I see it somewhat as compensation for his “candy-ass RINO” stance and professed atheism. Also, opposition to the comprehensive immigration bill was a major identity formation experience for the rightroots, esp. HotAir, propelled in part by Malkin, but also a big moment for Ace O’ Spades, who has much in common with AP.

    Ed’s a centrist by temperament as well as inclination. He wants to get along with everybody, across a broad coalition and extending to the other side. So the posts of his that draw the most attention are the ones where he diverges from the hard right perspective in favor of more traditional politics. I don’t think the HA hardcore will ever forgive him for coming down hard on Palin when she resigned her governorship, for instance.

    As for my situation, it was the divergence on the GZ Mosque that brought things to a head – the public back-and-forth had been preceded by the only private argument AP and I had ever conducted. Again, I wasn’t kicked out over the “line difference,” but the existence of the difference on this emotionally important issue interfered with any residual sympathy – made them less emotionally invested in me, and influenced them to side with the kind of people who, in a word, hate me, including the hard right types who rather than compulsively insult me, would complain bitterly and threaten to leave the site when my posts were promoted to the front page.

    The final point touches one other element in the “last e-mail” that I haven’t yet mentioned in all of this thrasing. During the clash with the commenters, I had urged them to go somewhere else if they couldn’t stay on topic. Ed brought that up and told me not to say that kind of thing (tell people to leave the site – which I don’t think I did, really). I don’t know that they’re highly concerned about site traffic and membership, but it also represented a kind of culturally self-defensive reflex. I understand it, but I’m against playing things safe – “conservatively” – in that sense.

  20. AllahP and i were friends back in the day.
    we stayed up late and wrote drunken haiku mocking the Instapundit with Jeff Goldstein and the koolkidz at Protein Wisdom.
    AllahP and CJ were close too.
    Obama becoming president made Jeff and AllahP crazy.
    I don’t have any other way of explaining it.
    They just went tharn.
    But you have something in common with both of them…….you’re all palincrackheads.
    im immune to that GILF stuff……guess its a grrl-thang.
    ;)

  21. and there is a reason we all call Ed–> Cap’n Stupid.
    hes not bright.
    he got sukkered big time by the weapons in the Bekkah and the Harmony database scam.
    he’s a nice christian family man that went to the university of wrong, like Joe Carter.

  22. and…..AllahP is smart enough to scope the demographic timer.
    he’s makin’ a buck while he can.
    a whole of what AllahP does is just heartening-up the soon-to-be losing side for as long as possible……or as long as its possible to sell conservative dreams of a return to power. A semi-plausible denial of demographic doom. And even that gets him called Eeyore.
    ;)
    in the country of the blind conservatives the one-eyed man atheist starving-lawyer is king.

  23. @ strangelet:
    You seem to have missed the headlines on me and Sarah. I stopped answering her calls months ago, but she just can’t stop talking about me as tho we’re still a thing.

  24. strangelet wrote:

    AllahP is smart enough to scope the demographic timer.
    he’s makin’ a buck while he can.

    I’ve got nothing to say on the second part, but “demography is destiny” is an old saw, and the basis of a thousand dispensable radicalisms going back to Malthus, and in a way going back much, much further. It always seems obvious in retrospect, but extrapolating forward, and projecting ideologically and politically, is way beyond mortal men and grrrls. However, to the extent that culturally defensive conservatives – i.e., the cultural Right as opposed to evolutionary conservative Right (American Burkean, progressive conservative, etc.) – sense the dangers you speak of, it helps to explain their fierce emotional and unexaminable attachment to the very things that would be endangering them – their separateness and self-superiority. And it may also help explain the “crazed” reaction to the big Ø

  25. “What color is the sky on your world, Usul”, I mean Kate, Allah except for the GZ issue, and I think that he’s a NYer first and foremost plays
    a part, in this, plus the actual facts, play a part. You would think that
    Sufis would be concerned about such a thing. About Ed, like I say he’s been generally fair, and factual on most issues, that’s just water under
    the bridge.

  26. @ strangelet:
    Your Palinphobia has always led you to mistake attempts to appreciate Palinism and Palin’s strategy objectively for infatuation with la Palin herself. The former is impossible as long as you’re stuck on personal politics and ideological-cultural biases, which you have in spades, heck in all four suits jokers incl., for the “WECs” and anti-intellectualists. True Palinistas and those capable of reading between the lines were always aware that I wasn’t really on that team.

    I moved more explicitly into criticism/opposition in my post faulting her for buddying up with Beck, and in a series of comments/discussions of her failure to come clean on the resignation and how it suited her self-interest. I’ve just reviewed the extensive discussion under the Beck post – one of our majorer threads – and you were right in the thick of it, especially in the beginning.

    I’ve been back-pocketing a post idea discussed in that thread – what would I rather SP had done with her (now) year post-resignation than what she actually did – not an alternative history, but an alternative way of looking at what’s missing without getting diverted into too much social psychoanalysis and personal-cultural spit-wadding. (Tho I find some of that unavoidable and even illuminating, I confess.)

  27. @ CK MacLeod: my great objection to Palin is that she is unfit to serve. the tension between the two poles of liberal vs conservative mindset is the energy that makes the Grand Experiment work. 50 years ago the conservative side of the American psyche chose boutique libertarianism, demagoguery, and racism over classic liberalism and real libertarianism.
    Now the correction begins.
    and Palin can do nothing to help restore the tension.
    she is a shallow, venal, petty, vindictive carny-barker without a nano-particle of intellectual curiousity or native intelligence.
    And she has become the whole symbology of the conservative side.
    …an evil intellectual-substrate free succubus that is battening on the collective resentment of the conservative inferiority complex.

  28. That is a tautology, brought to you by the kind of folks that Eric Blair
    said ‘there are some things so ridiculous than only an intellectual can believe them’ Examples in that time, were Professor Laski’s complaint
    that FDR had failed because he did not impose full socialism during the
    New Deal, like Stalin did. The notion between 1939-1941, that Nazi
    Germany was more interested in peace then the Western Democracies,
    hence his formulation about EastAsia and Eurasia. In the present day,
    the idea than can revert to the preindustrial civilization of 1750 without
    enormous economic and social turmoil, that is the core of cap n trade

  29. narciso wrote:

    In the present day,
    the idea than can revert to the preindustrial civilization of 1750 without
    enormous economic and social turmoil, that is the core of cap n trade

    Naw, narc, that gem is the core of JED and the JEDi know-nothings, despite their attempted and failed philosophizing.

  30. Poor baby. You took an unpopular position and people gave you hell over it. Let me pet your head.

    Oh, that’s right. This is the internet. Get used to it. Remember a while ago when there was a bit of back-and-forth about Palin and McCain? Lots of hell thrown at both sides. Get used to it. Remember my advice on your tone and condescending manner? Notice how numerous others noted it as time went on? Get used to it, because until you come to terms with the fact that your feces gives off just as pungent an aroma as the rest of the blogosphere’s, you’re going to wander in a haze of narcissistic befuddlement as to how all the plebians are not dazzled by your scribblings.

    The problem isn’t, wasn’t, and never will be, the side you choose. The problem is your attitude. Your self-absorbed snide. Your gargantuan ego. If you want an honest discussion, put it aside when you pose your argument. So far, all you’ve been doing is lecturing people on what you think, laced with hints that if they don’t agree, that they’re ignorant or bigoted. Knock it off, and you might be less despised.

  31. @ MadisonConservative:

    You are truly an asshole. I must hope that the Lord has been kind enough to your parents to have taken them into His embrace so that they’re spared the shame of having to live with the shame and explain how they could have produced such worthless trash.

  32. @ MadisonConservative:
    I find your obsession with me and your projections even less interesting now than I found them at HotAir. I take that back. Now that I think about it, it is just a little bit more interesting here than at HotAir, because of what it suggests about his interest. He could have left things, but for some reason feels the need to renew the relationship.

    Anyone here who didn’t bother to sample the comment threads on the posts I linked, or wasn’t following along at HotAir, now has a polished and practiced version of the same comment he felt the need to leave over and over again on post after post. He’s even reprised some lines that he seems to be very proud of.

  33. “He appears to have resigned himself to staying on zombiecontentions and using “HA commenters” as a derogatory label. Guaranteed he’ll be back, though. He craves the attention”

    MadisonConservative on June 30, 2010 at 10:42 AM

    and as he didn’t, MadCon chose to bring own his stupid candyass self here.

  34. That’s interesting about “HA commenters,” since I never used that phrase, either in the main post or in the comments above. Where I happen to refer to “commenters” at all, it’s either clearly referring to the problem commenters (MadCon and his fine friends) or being used as a neutral term. (Search the page if you care to check.)

    It seems that my offensive behavior exists in MadCon’s mind, and, as usual, that’s good enough for him.

  35. @ Parson Logic T ReFog:

    Hm. Hopes that my parents have died. I can see the kind of classy people CK surrounds himself with.

    As to CK’s nocturnal emission about my having any interest in him, I decided to drop a line after receiving a few emails pointing out your gormless palaver. What’s truly fascinating is that HAers rarely come to this site, yet you reference them so frequently. Perhaps you should analyze your own obsessions before misdiagnosing others.

  36. @ MadisonConservative:
    I thought it kinder than suggesting that they were the type of people that would be unashamed to see how you comport yourself.

    Did you have a decent reason for coming here with nothing but snide, mindless garbage to spew?

    Would you feel comfortable with people writing that kind of attack on one of your posts?

    Or would you want to censor it as unfair and a personal attack lacking merit?

    Would you allow it to remain i print or would you erase?

    Got answers?

  37. McFrog, you really went over the line, by mentioning his parents, in an adhominem way, there really was no excuse for that, it exceeded the light of permissable dialogue, not that I would act like Elena Kagan, and say it should be banned

  38. @ narciso:

    narc, if he returns with more of his mindless noise, and doesn’t answer my questions, I won’t be bound by any lines.

    not PayPal, not the FCC, not the NSA shall stay my terrible swift tongue. I’m going yard if there’s a next.

  39. @ Parson Logic T ReFog:

    Then, by all means, let your true self go. After all, when you wish someone’s parents dead, ostensibly because they dislike the attitude of some writer on the internet, it’s entirely improper that they not acquiesce to whatever questions you demand of them.

    I can see why you’re a fan of CK.

  40. @ MadisonConservative:

    Who’s a fan of CK?

    Come here and argue with him endlessly. I do. Just don’t come with schoolyard taunts and nothing more.

    I don’t blame you a bit for not answering my questions.
    And you’re right to be angered by my rudeness.

  41. @ MadisonConservative:no….the Highlander’s problem is intelligence and honesty.
    He cannot make a good hotair commenter, he goes off message far too much.
    AllahP and i were friends once upon a time.
    Before Malkin pithed and neutered him.
    Its all about the paycheck.
    I don’t take it personal anymore.

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TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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