Almost everyone sez Perry lost the R debate last night with a gaffe so humungous as to convert the name “Rick” into a synonym for “gaffe.” The world’s other Ricks will have to hope that the very nature of the gaffe – blackout forgetfulness on stage – will result in those who might invoke the new term forgetting to do so.
It is for that reason I find the Cain Affair(s) profoundly objectionable as a reason to politically object to Cain. One can, and in my opinion unequivocally should, protest the man’s candidacy because of his sweeping, manifest ignorance and thus utter unsuitability for the land’s highest office — or, for that matter, one of its many lower ones. But to bombard him because of his lusty boorishness tips a remarkably transparent and rather tacky partisan hand that I’d rather not play.
Once you accept that it’s all one, the epiphenomena are a lot less annoying. It’s the completely insane insubstantiality of Cain-ism that summons forth its own seemingly insanely irrelevant (except to the accusers and Cain) negation. Yet, if we understand Cainism as the political equivalent of sexual harassment – a harassment of the national body politic, a mediatized aggression against our self-respect, then the form its dissolution is taking seems natural and inevitable. If it had ever been possible to reduce Cain simply because he says nothing and is ignorant, then he never would or could have arisen in the first place. Our disappointment in having to turn to “this stuff” indicates that the implicit indictment or diagnosis, as expressed and confirmed in the mere existence of Cain and his supporters, will stand, whatever happens to whichever particular human vehicle for its enunciation.
Reagan representing the generational response to post-war imperial liberalism, it took another generation for a post-Reagan liberalism to mature, on schedule with the economic exhaustion of imperial financialism, an ideology and system of decline and diminishing returns. So Obamaism as a negation of Reaganism is also its excrescence, as inevitably during the inherently uncertain and drawn-out transition between a macro-system (aka, financialize neo-liberalism) and its unnameable successor. The Republican candidates express the exhaustion and irrelevance of Reaganism in and to that context, except as the active expression of that exhaustion and irrelevance, in the familiar zombie format. None of which is to suggest that the electoral system, or we ourselves through the electoral system, are precluded from placing the exponent of an exhausted and irrelevant ideology as the placeholder, the empty spot, for a kind of slow-motion collective auto-decapitation.
We can perhaps discern most of the elements of the next phase, but its timing, its organization of pasts and futures, which each of us will tend to interpret differently, from each other and at different times, is a subject for struggle, as are the very forms of that struggle.
a nationwide test of a nationwide emergency alert system. The first stirrings of Colossus? Skynet? Wintermute/Neuromancer? Mike? Or maybe the coming to self-consciousness of the great mediatized Hegelian national-universal us?! (Maybe that’s what the world-destroying super-computer entities express in alienated form…)
the recession’s damage to an incumbent president’s party merely put a misleading mid-term gust behind sails rigged for winds that were blowing in the 1970s, not the 2000s. The 2010 mid-terms were what might be called a “fatal success.” Yes, there was a backlash among older, whiter voters against the 2008 tide. But to conclude from that that there was a widespread, general support for further moves to the furthest right in an economy where many are struggling to get by and where economic inequality is still soaring, was a huge over-reach. And so we see the staggering results of last night’s votes.
The Ohio law against collective bargaining rights for public sector workers did not just go down. It went down in a landslide. Yes, the unions poured money into the battle and outspent opponents. But the scale of the victory is hard to gainsay. In a critical swing state, the GOP is in full retreat. In Arizona, the recall of the official who had pioneered the anti-illegal immigration measures is another remarkable event. Ditto even Mississippi’s rejection of a ballot initiative that is a theocon’s wet dream (if theocons are allowed such things), and takes the concept of personhood at conception to new, bizarre heights and exposes the stealth theocon campaign against contraception as well.
We’ve seen the polls showing a shift in Americans’ views of inequality and their support of higher taxes for the wealthiest as part of a debt-reduction package. We’ve seen the accelerating moderation on marriage equality and marijuana. We’ve noticed the Tea Party’s further alienation of minority voters, and now, with the Cain circus, possible intensification of the gender gap. We’ve noticed that increasing numbers of voters, including independents, regard the GOP as potentially sabotaging the economy purely in order to defeat Obama. Now we are seeing the effect of all this in actual elections. And the GOP primary campaign has also underlined just how marginal, ideological and inexperienced many of the presidential candidates are. A party that gives a motivational speaker ten times the support of a two-term governor of Utah, re-elected with 84 percent of the vote, with strong bipartisan credentials and an even stronger tax reform plan … well, it’s a party in free-fall that also doesn’t understand that it is.
Obama continues to suffer from poor approval ratings in Ohio with only 41% of voters approving of him to 49% who disapprove. But voters don’t seem to consider any of his opponents to be viable alternatives … On our weekend poll, which got the final result of Issue 2 correct to within a point, Obama led all of his Republican opponents in the state by margins ranging from 9-17 points.
Obama led Mitt Romney 50-41 on our poll. He was up 11 points on Herman Cain at 50-39, 13 on Newt Gingrich at 51-38, 14 on Ron Paul at 50-36, 14 on Michele Bachmann at 51-37 and a whooping 17 points on Rick Perry at 53-36. It used to be Sarah Palin’s numbers that we compared to Barry Goldwater, but Perry’s deficit would represent the largest Republican defeat in Ohio since 1964.
For this party, Herman Cain is the perfect nominee (since Palin simply couldn’t overcome her lies and pathologies). Because it is increasingly clear he is the master of complete denial of reality and has no actual experience in any public office.
I am thinking about the confrontation between "liberalism" - in the form of "liberal democracy" - and Islamism, but with a focus, in response to current events but perhaps also to larger necessity, on Egypt.
Regardless of where we come down in the end on the wisdom and justifiability of the administration’s war policies, criticism that does not take the full debate and its real subject into consideration, that merely repeats what we already know - that war is awful and morally, culturally, and politically deforming; that it exceeds the terms of normal, lawful policy; that it makes us act like "barbarians" all on the way to Hell - does not deserve to be and likely will not be taken seriously.
Pacific War: Strategy and the World-Historical State
For the world-historical power there are only grand strategy and incidental diversions, at best marginal calibrations or corrections on a course already set, and alterable if at all or ever only by events, if any, developing on its own level.
By a strict standard, spokespersons for the Administration of George W. Bush, including President Bush himself, uttered lies while seeking popular support for the decision to invade Iraq. By the same strict standard, under which any exaggeration, self-interested omission of contrary evidence, or rhetorical coloration of the facts amounts to a lie, the leading critics of that decision are also clearly liars. The time for rigorous honesty in historical judgments does not yet seem to be upon us.
"The reality is, on any public forum there is going to be a peanut gallery, and I’ve never seen a moderation policy that can quite eliminate them, but not eliminate interesting people who I want to hear from. So, culled lists, either individually (as here) or collectively (as was needed in a larger space such as Twitter), are a fine thing. They make a forum far more pleasant to use."[...]
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.[...]
There are progressive and liberal ideologies or ideological constructs, but the desirability of progress and its attainment via rational and open ("liberal") inquiry remain pre-conditions of any authentic (authentically "discursive") discussion.[...]
Commenter Ignore Button (CIB) lets a user to put one or more commenters "on ignore." To have such an option enabled is a frequent request at blogs and other sites where comment threads are plagued by trolls or other problematic commenters, but where site operators prefer to err on the side of open discussion - or don't want to get involved unless they really have to. Once users become generally aware of the option, people just seeking attention may either be more polite or move somewhere else, while regular commenters - and lurkers - may become more willing to engage.[...]
If you're not able to perfect your theme yourself, or not willing to hire a designer, then being a perfectionist is unrealistic. Yet just getting good enough on first glance results when adding CIB to customized comment templates, even before fine-tuning, may require some more complicated work. For those intimidated by the prospect, here is an example of curing the output on one typically atypical theme.[...]
We would be compelled to conclude that something must have been (and very likely remains) profoundly wrong with a political culture or political media - of which Matthew Yglesias and Vox are, of course, typical parts - that could be dominated by an issue to be judged intrinsically trivial, and dominated to the point of determining eventual collective decisions of undoubted significance.[...]
If members of the present younger generation in particular seem unable to articulate or comprehend the basis of a still operative policy consensus, they can hardly be faulted if their elders, even those running for the highest office in the land, can no longer do so either. We seem to be preparing and in effect demanding - perhaps cannot help but to require - a repetition, or at least a reinforcement, of the very old lesson.[...]