Twitter

Yearning for President Blog – OAG #9

The Tweet-storm, in the new era of President Tweet, remains a nostalgia-inducing afterimage of the blog and of the era of President Blog, but it may also portend a return or attempted return to coherent, accountable, and consequential civic discussion in a mass society, back from the Great Flood of clicks.

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Better Twitter Embeds 2: Stripping the Convo for the Sake of the Convo

A few months ago, I noted a technique for stripping Twitter embeds of extraneous conversation, involving setting the tweet attribute “data-conversation” to “none.” What I provided was more hack than add-on, and required a somewhat laborious process of copying the

Posted in notes, Twitter, Using WordPress, WordPress Plug-Ins Tagged with: ,

No One Can Say: Absurdifaction (OAG #4)

…the dis-assembling assembly of disconnected yet interrelated not quite anythings, not quite somewhere, with which one might or might not perform something approaching or in some ways vastly exceeding, yet not possibly entailing, disagreement.

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No One Can Say: Context/Contest (OAG #3)

We or more of us than we suspected, a muster that will in time include many for now wrapped up in shock, and grief, and fear, and rage, and despair, seeing at best only the glimmers of new or renewed possibility, have welcomed or will welcome, will someday come to love the fire for revealing who if anyone is in fact out there.

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Sign of the Sign

Bridget O’Neil directs us to this signature, from a letter written in 2007 to the LA Times by this year’s Republican Party nominee for the Presidency of the United States of America:

Posted in notes, Politics, Twitter Tagged with:

Übertrolls – Leftwing Edition

…mounting the barricades in his mind and shouting down all within hearing – moving, in undeniable if also undeniably trivial form, by sheer necessity, from the denunciation of competing perspectives to the proscription of those about whom, as he avers with conspicuous pride, but disproves in acting to prove, he could not possibly care less.

Posted in Political Philosophy, Twitter Tagged with: ,

Übertrolls

In short, blocking self-indulgently, whether out of laziness or anger or boredom or trifling annoyance or whatever obscure motive, amounts to a special kind of trolling: a narcissistic negation of discussion that, like most trolling, would be impossibly embarrassing to a contemptibly contemptuous perpetrator if attempted in “3-d life.”

Posted in Internet, Political Philosophy, Twitter Tagged with: ,

From the Featured Archives

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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