Van Jones vs Hot Air

Hehe … Van Jones you are admitted Communist and Truther.

Nuff Said bro.

HondaV65 on July 25, 2010 at 9:08 AM

As of this writing, there are 35 comments on the HotAir headline thread referring to Van Jones’ NY Times Op-Ed on l’affaire Sherrod.  The above is the first, and only one or two out of the remaining 34 seem to indicate that whichever commenter may even have read the Op-Ed.  Re-echoing condemnations of Van Jones, alongside promises not even to “click on the link” – to refuse on principle (a peculiar construction of principle) to consider something written by a “Communist and Truther,” published in the Paper of Iniquity – are the uncontradicted entirety of the “discussion.”

The Op-Ed itself, for those who dare to read it, offers a congenial and thoughtful perspective on contemporary media-political culture:

We have to understand that no one can be defined by a single photograph, open-mike gaffe or sound bite. Not even our greatest leaders could have survived if they had to be taken to task for every poorly conceived utterance or youthful demonstration of immature political views. When it comes to politics in the age of Facebook, the killer app to stop the “gotcha” bullies won’t be a technological one — it will be a wiser, more forgiving culture.

As for that wiser, more forgiving culture, Jones won’t find it at HotAir or, as far as I can tell, anywhere on the these-days-much-enthused American far right, where the courage to engage with fellow citizens as they are or might be, at the risk of losing an enemy or even of expanding one’s own views,  has all but disappeared, replaced by character assassination and demonstratively proud ignorance.  For the reactionary right, the fact that Van Jones may once have been an avowed communist – whatever that meant to him – is cause to consign him forever to the ranks of the permanently un-hearable.  If someone somewhere further claimed that he was a “9/11 Truther,” let Jones remain forever a non-person in the conservative utopia to come.

On the last point, Jones claims that his named appeared on an on-line “9/11 questions” petition without his permission, and that the petition sponsors have admitted as much.  (He offered a somewhat more expansive explanation during an appearance on the Tavis Smiley show – viewable here.)  Since Jones has never spoken like a Truther, appeared at 9/11 Truther events, contributed to 9/11 Truther groups, etc., and since he has repeatedly and unambiguously denied holding 9/11 Truther views, referring to him as a Truther – or, as some HA commenters prefer, “Troofer” – was never a responsible use of language.  To the extent that doing so was even minimally informative, it was because doing it always immediately identified the speaker or writer as an ideologue, a crank, or a dupe.  In light of Jones’ very public, on the record, unambiguous denials, it should now be more difficult for writers like Philip Klein at the American Spectator to call Jones a “9/11 Truther” without qualification.  Should be…

Over the long term, a public and an electorate asked to choose between calls for wisdom and forgiveness and the politics of “’nuff said” will almost always take the former.


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68 comments on “Van Jones vs Hot Air

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  1. “When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over the years, either.”

  2. @ The Monster:

    “Free enterprise brings happiness; redistribution does not. The reason is that only free enterprise brings earned success.”

    anybody who claims this to be a money quote is about simple enough to forget to wipe the Elmer’s Glue-All off their fingers before picking their nose.

  3. I’m sure you must think you’re making a relevant point, Mr. The Monster. Some version of “turnabout’s fair play,” perhaps (while setting aside the dissimilarities between those verbal incidents and the larger point Jones is striving to make)? Conservatives have earned the right to be idiots? What a great platform!

  4. Don’t forget, ‘he had to join Klan (and become a recruiter) in order to get elected”. Trent Lott loves the taste of shoe leather, as a lobbyist
    even more so, but was it worth going through every scrap of paper
    going back to his Ole Miss days, Frist wasn’t an improvement, for some
    of his other talents

  5. It is feeling more and more like ‘the Argument Clinic’ Zoltan, or “these are not the droids you’re looking for” over here

  6. @ narciso:
    @ Zoltan Newberry:
    Incapable of dealing with the actual argument, go to the “meta-” level and attack the writer for even bringing it up. Like “nuff said” and refusing to click, a strategy for perpetually massaging your resentments and proceeding with unstinting hypocrisy – part of what was meant by the infamous “epistemic closure” contention: “Closed as we wanna be!”

  7. You want us to admit a lie, fostered by the Journolist, and other outcroppings of the Sorosphere, and deny the truth about those
    who Imam Rauf associates and has been sponsored by, Perdana
    is that combination of antiSemitic truther (Malathir) and hopeless
    dupe (Caldicott),

  8. narciso wrote:

    You want us to admit a lie, fostered by the Journolist, and other outcroppings of the Sorosphere,

    I’d like you to be specific so I can have some useful idea of what you’re talking about, and so that an actual discussion is possible…
    narciso wrote:

    deny the truth about those
    who Imam Rauf associates and has been sponsored by, Perdana
    is that combination of antiSemitic truther (Malathir) and hopeless
    dupe (Caldicott),

    I think there are valid questions about how meaningful those associations are as per an assessment of Rauf himself, but, as I have argued numerous times, why they should bear directly on the issue of the project has never been demonstrated. People who decline to agree with the designation of Hamas as a “terrorist organization,” who are willing to work with members of the Muslim Brotherhood, or with people given to arguably anti-Semitic and trutherist outbursts, or with pacifist-leftists, or who may even marry nieces of former imams of controversial mosques are also allowed to assemble freely and pursue other projects in the United State of America. People who support Sharia or interpretations of Sharia get to push as hard as they are able to win acceptance for their position. They can also build or refurbish buildings and invite the public to visit. Those are among the hallmarks of a “free society” worthy of a 1776-foot Freedom Tower.

  9. We should all join the clubby club and reserve all negative comments for Sara Palin, Christopher Hitchens and Glenn Beck, who really are the bad peoples, and not the nice mens like Jeremiah Wright and Mister “Give Them The Wealth!”, Van Jones.

    Let a 1000 purple blossoms bloom, etc.

  10. Think Progress was putting forth the story they got from Carson, ‘a legend’ as it were, almost immediately despite there was no evidence
    of same. Now Alistair Crooke to use one notable example, might insist
    that Hamas is predominantly a political organization, ‘but you may ask yourself, how did we get here’ what us this goal of said organization

  11. Well even Martin Amis, has said some duly sensible things about Islamism in the recent past, read the “Second Plane” his anthology
    of post September 11th meditations, with a particular focus on Qutb
    and Greeley, off with his head

  12. narciso wrote:

    Think Progress was putting forth the story they got from Carson, ‘a legend’ as it were, almost immediately despite there was no evidence
    of same.

    That doesn’t qualify as specific. You apparently want me to go figure out what it is you have a problem with, and, then, why it’s relevant to this discussion.

    Now Alistair Crooke to use one notable example, might insist
    that Hamas is predominantly a political organization, ‘but you may ask yourself, how did we get here’ what us this goal of said organization

    That’s a valid question. You might also ask yourself about differences between stated goals, actual goals, achievable goals, and more desirable or preferable goals, how they relate to each other, and different means by which one set of goals might be in reality substituted for the others.

    Or you can stick to the simple-minded language of annihilation – terrorists who must be destroyed and never talked to, so irredeemably infectious that even those who merely wonder about not-destroying and possibly-talking must also be destroyed and never talked to, and so on – until, eventually, you’re either the last person on Earth or, rather more likely, you’re left behind by events you’ve made yourself incapable of comprehending.

  13. CK MacLeod wrote:

    Or you can stick to the simple-minded language of annihilation

    yes, you can, quite legitimately. it’s a suitable reply to people speaking that language.

  14. @ fuster:
    Are you saying that you don’t believe his story or are you saying that he/they should have known about his presence on the list? My point is that even if he had signed the petition (is lying about what took place), there’d still be no justification to refer to him as a (reduce him to) “9/11 Truther.” Once upon a time signing a petition doesn’t transform you into that. Now that he has fully, explicitly, very publicly, and repeatedly denied being or ever having been a 9/11 Truther, to persist in calling him one is to play judge, jury, and executioner and furthermore to indulge in a kind of fantasy-conspiracism – in which someone who has no demonstrable public record on a public issue and publicly denies the validity of that issue can somehow be advancing that public issue publicly. Even most real 9/11 Truthers would hesitate to indulge in that level of absurdity.

  15. fuster wrote:

    CK MacLeod wrote:
    Or you can stick to the simple-minded language of annihilation

    yes, you can, quite legitimately. it’s a suitable reply to people speaking that language.

    Actually, it’s not. The “language of annihilation” always relies on an error, because you cannot speak to someone who does not exist and who is not going to continue to exist. One inevitable result of that problem is that we already do “talk to Hamas.” We already do “negotiate with terrorists.” And Hamas already talks to and negotiates with Israel, Israelis, and everyone else.

    The only alternative would be positive action really to annihilate Hamas, which, under current and foreseeable circumstances would be action to annihilate several hundred thousand (at least) human beings. Every other real world alternative to genocide will involve dialogue or transformation rather than annihilation. And that’s also one reason why creating a broad category in which we lump both AQ (a network of volunteer killers) and Hamas (a political organization with active constituency), but leave off people we’re working on or with, is arguably a mistake.

  16. @ CK MacLeod:My position is that he’s probably FOS but it doesn’t matter whether he willingly signed that thing or was duped into signing.
    Either is sufficient to render him an unwholesome addition to the executive branch of the federal government given that the petition demands that the previous administration be investigated because it was guilty of treason and the administration hosting Jones denies the truth of the charge and refuses to undertake such an investigation.

    Bluntly, no damned lawyer could sign that thing and still serve.

  17. @ CK MacLeod: Nonsense. It’s quite easy to speak of annihilating members of the organization until such time as the remaining members cease speaking the language of annihilation and ask for talks.

  18. @ fuster:
    Nonsense yourself: What you describe is sooner or later talking to those with whom one is not to talk. What you are further describing is a dialogue/transformation strategy implemented by force: Our message is “you must change your messaging,” and, until you do so, we will continue to kill you. It is a form of “talking to,” but what it isn’t is moral, sustainable, or desirable. Luckily enough, it’s also not the strategy that either we or the Israelis are currently employing. Instead, we are hoping that through pressure and impairment of some Hamas/Palestinian goals (a better life, security, etc.), we can induce Hamas to give in on other Hamas/Palestinian goals. It’s a repetition of the strategy used with the PLO, that includes increasing the value of an intrinsically valueless determination – “revision of the charter.” Eventually, we and the Israelis got the PLO to ambiguate its position sufficiently for the Israelis to “talk to” the PLO – though first we had to engage in a long process of secret, unofficial, intermediated dialogue and contact until finally we and the Israelis could admit that we and the Israelis were and had been talking with those with whom talking amounted to treason, with those who deserved annihilation only.

  19. @ fuster:
    He claims that his name was included on the petition without his permission – that there was no physical or even intentional act of signing. Either way, whether he should have resigned or not, whether he’s lying or not, it’s still irresponsible to call him a “9/11 Truther.” Even if he was that – unproven – he’s not that now, clearly.

  20. @ CK MacLeod:

    if you read what I’ve said, I’ve not agreed with calling him a troofer. I go as far as ” fool what rendered himself unsuitable for employment fool”.

  21. @ narciso:
    I wouldn’t support any attempt to replace one set of stupid falsehoods with another set of stupid falsehoods. In the process of negating the second set, one sometimes discovers the elements of truth in the original set. Them’s the breaks.

    And I really don’t know what the time-line you produce is supposed to prove to anyone who isn’t already convinced, other than that Doug Ross has a lot of time on his hands and thinks that someone thinks that it would matter very much if some/any O-care protestors screamed particular bigoted epithets.

  22. Yes, apparently he was calling one of my co-bloggers a booger-eating moron or something.

    E!3 represents “Eject! Eject! Eject!”. Our blog was originally intended to serve as sort of a minor-league adjunct to Bill’s blog, not unlike Protein Wisdom’s Pub. Then he joined PJM, and our little experiment ended.

    My point is that Mr. Jones is now claiming that context is everything, but that’s never been the standard before. It’s always been a gotcha game. Had he risen to the defense of, say, Senator Lott, rather than someone on his side politically, I might be more disposed to see his call for cool as genuine. As it is, I see him selectively demanding we apply one standard to his side, and another when our oxen are to be gored.

  23. So Rauf’s father was a founder of the Moslem Brotherhood, his book was published by two known fronts tied to AQ and Gamaa Islamiyah,
    there is that other family connection, but he gives a good speech in NYC to a noticeably skeptical audience, but back home in Malaysia. . .

    Twenty years ago, a distinguished graduate of Al Azhar, persecuted for
    his political views in Egypt, (the consequences of said views are open to debate) who had aided US officials in Afghanistan, shows up in New Jersey,

  24. CK MacLeod wrote:

    think he’s probably lying? What’s your basis for that?

    1) he’s a lawyer.

    if that’s insufficient, there’s

    2) the first thing you learn in contracts is…… don’t sign it ’till you understand every last funky bit of it.

    3) and yes, if you listen carefully to the explanation on the vid, he did consent.

    that’s enough for probably, IMO.

  25. Well Frog, maybe she follows Pelosi’s maxim, ‘you have to sign it, to find out what’s in it” There are enough crazy officials like Ray McGovern
    (CIA) Wayne Madsen (NSA) Paul Craig Roberts (Treasury) who have entertained such crazy notions. Not to mention, the former Environment minister, Meacher, and some other German fellow who follow that way down the rabbit hole, Thierry Meysan, was the Frenchy
    frenchman who popularized that idea on that end of the ocean

  26. @ narciso:

    narc, you don’t get to call them officials …. when they aren’t.

    were they officials or employees.?
    when did McGovern or Madsen last hold employment in the gov’t?

    (non-rhetorical questions, ‘preciate if you know the when of them)

  27. The Monster wrote:

    My point is that Mr. Jones is now claiming that context is everything, but that’s never been the standard before. It’s always been a gotcha game. Had he risen to the defense of, say, Senator Lott, rather than someone on his side politically, I might be more disposed to see his call for cool as genuine. As it is, I see him selectively demanding we apply one standard to his side, and another when our oxen are to be gored.

    I see Jones as striving to make a larger point than that actually – not just that context is important, a standard which would apply to Sherrod and others (and which I consider fundamental), but which would not offer much of a defense either for the crime he cops to (vulgarly attacking Republicans) or for the crime he denies (Trutherism).

    He seems to be arguing that we should accept human complexity, and not seek to reduce everyone to his or her worst moment or presumed mistake – if that’s an appeal to context, it’s an appeal to context by a very broad defintion.

    If he put in a word for Trent Lott now, I doubt that it would have helped his argument with the right. He did make an effusive peace offering to Glenn Beck, and I don’t recall Glenn Beck acting at all impressed by it – this was back when I was watching Beck more often than I do now. If Jones had put in a word for Trent Lott back then, when Lott got in trouble, I don’t think anyone would have noticed.

    Anyway, my main interest isn’t in Van Jones. My main interest at present is tracking and critiquing American conservatism ca. 2010. I don’t see “but they did it first” as an argument for conservatism, or an excuse for dishonorable and self-destructive/self-deforming conduct.

    Also, sorry that the Frog went low on your co-blogger. He probably felt he was titting your tats too, like everyone else everywhere (another E3!).

  28. Van Jones and Rucker’s main project around 2005, was to spread the notion popularized by Kanye West, “Bush doesn’t care about black people” , seeing the other signers, there’s no reason to consider that he didn’t sign the petition. STORM a Maoist outfit would be funny except similar words of praise seem to arise from formercommunication director Anita Dunn, and current manufacturing czar?? Ron Bloom. The Journolist lies at the heart of most of the made up controversies in this administration, from the Plame case onward. They are relentless in destroying a person’s reputation before they even realize it

  29. narciso wrote:

    So Rauf’s father was a founder of the Moslem Brotherhood,

    Do you EVER stop spreading misinformation about Rauf? The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928. Rauf’s father was 11 at the time – a bit young to be a founder (even for a man said to have memorized the Qur’an by the age of 8). Pajamas and other web sites started spreading a ludicrously suggestive description of Rauf-pere. having been “a contemporary” of Hassan al-Banna. In the usual way, that seems to have been turned by your trusted sources into some version of blood brotherhood.

    Rauf-fils has denied the claim that his father was even a member – I seem to recall something about the latter being in the Egyptian government when the MB was banned and being suppressed – and the senior Rauf’s history wouldn’t be typical for a Muslim Brotherhood recruit or activist. However, even if he was, even if he helped found the MB at the age of 11, even if Imam Rauf himself was MB, you still haven’t explained why exactly that would be reason to reject the Park51/Cordoba House/GZ Mosque project.

    “Book published by two known fronts” is more of this same garbage. I’m about 94.2% sure that the “known front” is going to turn out to be an organization that had financial or other ties or suspected or alleged ties to AQ or GI activists. That is not a “front” organization in classical parlance. What it is, is more of your defamatory/paranoid manipulation of language.

    I used to know honest-to-god real-life front organizations for international revolutionary organizations. Guess what! They published and distributed a wide range of books, many by authors that didn’t known them, and would have run fast in the other direction if they did.

    And, one more time: So what?

  30. @ narciso:
    Not half as relentless as you. I can’t believe you’re bringing up Anita Dunn and Ron Bloom – a couple of scary Maoists there. Have you ever met a real Maoist?

  31. No I hope not to meet any, I know what they did in Campuchea, what they tried to do with the Shining Path in Peru, Marxists are bloody bad enough. Now you remember Tariq Ramadan don’t you, the academic
    with remarkable credentials but some interesting perspectives on thing
    as Paul Berman has pointed out

  32. @ narciso:
    “Malicious” certainly describes your approach. I’d also add the words “blatantly” and “dishonest,” and I’ll remind you that this isn’t the first time you’ve been caught making malicious statements without factual basis in connection to Rauf.

    Stop defaming people. If you make a serious accusation about anyone, living or dead, I expect you to have some basis for it – even when, as in the case of Rauf’s father, it’s totally irrelevant to the discussion.

    I don’t care about your link, and I’m not in a mood to make your argument for you.

  33. @ CK MacLeod:

    he can’t help it. Cubanist communist fellow-travelers such as narc (and anyone who ever gave him a lollypop) all adhere to a strict Stalinist line and regard Maoists with typical Cuban hatred and loathing, often looking to steal hair, fingernail parings or menstrual blood for their semi-traditional Stalinist/West African ritual enchantments/purges, (and personal enjoyment).

  34. For fifty year, igel, except for a brief period at the beginning, the media and political establishment, has been ‘bobby soxing’ Fidel and his little brother, the apex of it was the Elian Gonzalez, where they rationalized a rendition of ‘state property’ back to the Cuban Government. And the same confederacy of fools, that were Sr. Wences for the Journolist were a party to this, Rather, Couric, Williams, (Jennings has passed on) Gibson, et al. Mostly the same crew like Halberstam who told us that Vietnam was key to the world Tungsten supply, but ultimately like Afghanistan’s lithium can go to someone else.

    The flipside has been how breathlessly cavalier they have been in characterizing any opposition, that had to deal with the detritus of their mistake, from Stone to Moore and co, who casts the Cuban
    American community, as an inconvenience at best, and the equivalent to Brutus’s henchmen at worst, somewhat like what Ayers told Larry Grathwold, well those 25 million counter
    revolutionaries, will just have to eliiminated, a si que, no me digas
    que me callas,

  35. He did make an effusive peace offering to Glenn Beck

    I don’t recall that. I do, however, remember how he spearheaded an effort to pressure advertisers away from Beck’s TV show (which I believe continues to this day).

  36. The White House dumped him, with the bathwater, because it revealed
    their true agenda, which is both breathtaking in its scope, and asinine
    in it’s consequences. Just like they cut “Shirley Rhodes” mike for the weekend, because it got too embarassing

  37. @ The Monster:
    I don’t believe it’s accurate to say that Jones “spearheaded” the boycott campaign. His former organization Color of Change (Jones left it in 2007) began calling for the advertiser boycott well before Jones’ resignation from the WH. From the outside, it looks like the boycott inspired Beck and his fans to intensify the attacks on Jones.

    I have no idea what Jones’ involvement in the boycott campaign was. I assume he was fully aware of it, but I also assume that he was smart enough not to want any direct role in it or even to want to be kept informed about it or have any input. Saying that he “spearheaded” it suggests a much larger role in it than I think he would even have been capable of playing – as though he had been speaking out against Beck publicly and so on either before Beck started attacking him, during the post-boycott escalation phase, or afterward as a way to get back at Beck. I can’t find a place where Jones has publicly discussed the boycott.

    The peace offering I referred to came, I believe, when Jones was accepting his NAACP Image Award in February. I can understand why Beck, considering what he thinks about Jones, how p-o’d he probably is about the boycott, and most of all considering how much time and energy he’s devoted to trashing Jones, was so cold to Jones’ statements.

  38. Yes McFrog I am, with her dying breath, Elian’s mother arrived so that
    her son would grow free. Holder is certainly responsible

    As for the crazy speculation, hard to beat this;

    Michael Cohen, who writes for The New Republic and is with the leftist New America Foundation, dared to dream big: “The upside is that if this is true she is done and so is McCain. It will be like McGovern in 72. The GOP won’t be able to survive this.”

    Huffington Post contributor and former communications director for the Democrat staff of the House Homeland Security Committee Moira Whelan thought the conspiracy theory was plausible because “The woman is from the sticks and didn’t even go to Juneau–let alone anywhere else–until she was in high school. Having lived in the sticks, I can attest to the fact that people make wacky decisions like this… I’d rather not talk about this crap in an election, but I am suspiscious (sic).”

    Lindsay Beyerstein, who was covering the election for Firedoglake, said if she had evidence to support the story, she would not only report it, but would do so proudly: “So far, there’s not enough evidence for any responsible commentator to discuss this… However, if some reporter thinks this rumor is worth investigating further, and he or she absolutely nails this story, that would be great. If I had the smoking gun, I’d proudly publish the evidence.” In a another posting, Beyerstein warned that the rumors could be part of a trap: “It wouldn’t surprise me if the McCain campaign were to leak doctored evidence for the sole purpose of discrediting it and destroying the journalist who published it.”

    Talking Points Memo blogger Kathleen Geier was also suspicious, and spewed a shot of venom in the direction of the GOP: “When I first heard this story, I thought it was preposterous… And maybe I really am losing it, driven over the edge at last by my hatred of all things Republican, but at this point I’m starting to believe it.” In another email, Geier wrote, “I am really hoping Palin will self-immolate and bring down the ticket with her. Because if she proves to be a popular choice who doesn’t screw up too badly, she could be really, really dangerous in the years to come.”

    Blogger Dylan Matthews, took it as a personal affront that Gov. Palin got on a plane in Dallas to fly home so that Trig would be delivered by her trusted personal obstetrician and even opined that a government intervention was in order: “Her conduct on the plane… is so grossly irresponsible that it suggests that the baby couldn’t possibly be hers… That offends me. That sort of thing warrants a social services call.”

    Rick Perlstein, a senior fellow at the left wing and Soros-funded Campaign for America’s Future suggested that “an enterprising reporter” visit the hospital in Wasilla and find an “indiscreet hospital employee” who might be willing to divulge details of an imagined cover up.

    Shannon Brownlee of the New America Foundation, ignoring Obama’s lack of experience and his extremist views, proposed that the lefty listers do some fear-mongering: “This woman has almost no experience and extremist views on many fronts. Americans should be afraid of a McCain-Palin White House and the possibility of her having to step in as president. So we should be sowing fear.”

  39. @ narciso:
    I am so shocked by the sheer shocking shock of these revelations that if my neighbor hadn’t just now wandered by with a bucket of water and hurled it on my face, I might still be unconscious.

  40. The problem my Dear Czar, is that this was a plaintive echo, through the entire media establishment, no one care to reign in Sullivan, because he was not the craziest of the bunch,one of theChinatown references, paging Evelyn Mulray, made to SNL, the first weekend just satire you understand. It’s ok to totally annihilate someone’s public persona based on what exactly, and for whom

  41. I guess you find comfort in the thought, narc, that the reason Palin doesn’t appeal to the left and the middle has a whole lot to do with this kind of thing – either the narrow subject of Trig’s parentage, or the broader subject of her political enemies ganging up on her. In my view, the main reasons either has a lasting political impact is that Palin and her supporters have clung ever more bitterly and openly to their mutually supportive militantly defensive and conspiracist reaction. After the campaign Palin had a choice between de-polarizing and going right with a vengeance. The former would have taken a lot of work and tolerance for uncertainty and delayed gratification. She still would have faced fierce opposition and she still would have had trouble both referring to her personal biography constantly and at the same time declaring it off-limits to criticism. She chose the simpler but politically much narrower path.

  42. Colin you must have forgotten what you wrote last year at this time, or you no longer believe it, it would be more honest if you said the latter, the evidence is even clearer than it was a year ago, what an attack this was, from the start.

  43. @ narciso:
    What I wrote last year at this time was true to the best of my reckoning last year at this time. One of these days, maybe soon, I’ll engage in public self-criticism to whatever degree of self-abasement seems appropriate. Shooting from the hip, I fault myself for extending the benefit of whatever doubts in her and the conservative movement’s favor. When I’ve had a chance to look things over in detail, I’ll try to be specific about whatever I may no longer believe or about what unrealistic expectations of mine may have been frustrated.

    I hope it will be a thrilling exercise for all concerned.

  44. @ narciso:

    hey narc, as the second and third albums by the Sarah Palin Experience have gotten played, it’s become a lot easier to recognize that it’s all derivative drivel from an airhead guitarist.

  45. Just like with the CRU, just like with Orzag’s and Bernstein’s another journolist (not butter but Parkay) brilliant accounting of the stimulus,Sheriff Joe, no one messes with him

  46. narciso/

    We can have a Republican/TEAPARTY Congress,President,Supreme Court,and all 300,000,000 Million of us be Republican/TEAPARTY,what was unleashed on our Fiscal System-Government is going to Unwind,the results of that unwinding are unknown in detail,but we have a pretty good idea of what they are in general. And these problems did not start in 2008,so I hope that SP is our next President,and Michele Bachman is our next leader of the House,and MM is Senate majority leader,and we have Nine JR’s on the Court,because I want to hear your arguments then why things aren’t turned around.

  47. Sarcasm does not suit you Rex, the question at issue is about truth, Van Jones, as is typical of this camarilla never had it, wouldn’t know where to get it. The Journolist promoted?? this fraudulent state of affairs till the current day. If they can do it to one person of sterling
    integrity they can do it to anyone

    CK; you maybe Allah Pundit’s long lost twin

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Noted & Quoted

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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