August 28, 2008

"How do I manage this, a weekend -- during the GOP convention -- with a Euro social democrat and Karl Popper's son? Avoidance? Giant underpants?"

Pogo has a political/etiquette question:
This weekend I will be hosting two couples. One is very far left, the other libertarian right. Me? Conservative, former lefty.

On the phone to the lefty last night the husband remarked about the DNC (we were not talking politics but food): "I hope someone in Minneapolis gets Bush and Cheney and strings them up."

My resonse was a silent "WTF?" I said. Uh ...yeah. Aannnnnyway, I'll bring the wine.

So my question, a serious one: How do I manage this, a weekend -- during the GOP convention- with a Euro social democrat and Karl Popper's son? Avoidance? Giant underpants? Drunkenness?

Bill Buckley was famous for getting along with ideological opposites. But it seems people are far more polarized and angry than in the past. I dunno. Maybe I shouldn't show up at all.
I'd go meta. Say you asked this very question on a somewhat popular blog, and it was what everyone was talking about last Thursday, and here are some of the cool things they said.

104 comments:

Simon said...

It's something I've noticed when spending time with friends who are on the other side. Instinctively, I try to find common ground and to avoid areas where we're going to disagree. So, for example, if they're really worried about climate change, I'll look for ways that we can talk about that in ways that are productive. They, on the other hand, seem to feel no such compulsion to avoid saying things like Pogo's murderous friend, or to run their mouth about things that are obviously going to produce an argument. I hadn't realized that this was a broader trend (although Pogo's experience doesn't confirm that it is), but it does make it so much harder to maintain cross-partisan friendships.

Meade said...

She obviously loves her readers. Almost as much as she loves Joe Lieberman and Rush Limbaugh.

rhhardin said...

I have a far lefty dentist.

I just say ``Let's talk about something else.''

You can't argue well when he has control of your mouth.

Original Mike said...

You could do something to focus their minds on something else, like suggest a friendly game of Russian roulette.

Palladian said...

Lefties, libertarians et al like to shock people. I don't necessarily mean this as a criticism because I'm the same way in conversation (albeit in a usually light-hearted manner) but it does seem that iconoclasm (against other people's icons, naturally), disruption and confrontation are important components of left-wing, libertarian and other more marginal philosophies.

Host with the Most said...

I find that when my liberal friends are in an angry mood about politics, I just keep asking them questions, keeping my voice soft and modulated, listening to whatever their answers are, and then asking more questions. I actually act quite innocent and wide-eyed (on purpose). Just talk to them like asking a 6-year-old to describe the last Star Wars they saw:

"Do you really want them "strung up"?

"Uh huh. So how exactly would you see that working?"

"When you say "criminal", what do you mean?"


I keep narrowing it down without arguing against anything they say; just question followed by a more specific question:

"So, if I'm hearing you right (plaintive brow look on my face), then it obviously follows that you then . . . .? Oh, well then why not?"

Again, giving them always time to fully speak, and then bringing it back to a question about their illogical answer - it's liberal, so it of course will inevitably be illogical - without any "labeling" of their answer.

With liberals, it's the old maxim of just giving 'em enough rope to hang themselves. Seriously. That's why I believe that we should let liberals talk as much as they want - they all eventually hang themselves.



For me, one of two things always results:


1)They begin to recognize the silliness of their original statement and start to calm down,

2)They get frustrated by their indefensible lack of logic and reasoning and change the subject.


Works without fail for me, every time.

Michael said...

I agree with Host with the Most - use the old reflective listening technique.

"What I hear you saying is..."

Not only does it offer them the chance to think about what they've just advocated, but if they refuse to think it makes YOU sound like a calm human being.

Meade said...

I just say ``Let's talk about something else.''

But that isn't really quite true is it, RH?

Isn't this what you really say to him?:

"eh aw u aw un ih eh"

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Host with the Most said...

Ruth Anne,

LOL

Joan said...

Host, the problem with your method is that it violates the "whatever you pay attention to, you get more of" principal.

I spend a good deal of time every summer with my very liberal Democrat family. They know I'm conservative, but that doesn't stop them muttering invectives against Bush, the economy, the war, the Catholic Church, whatever. An example: one relative declaiming she would never have children because it would be a sin to bring new life into this f'ed up world. (I have three children.)

Usually I take a cue from my Mom and pretend I didn't hear it, even when it's blatantly obvious that I must have, or I'll go with a non-committal "Oh" or "Hmmm." I also like, "Pass the potato chips, please." Refuse to engage. There's no point in discussing politics or religion with people who have closed their minds, and there are plenty of other things to talk about. Lovely weather we're having, isn't it? And how about those Olympics?

I love Ruth Ann's suggestion!

I would suggest also working out an escape plan in advance with your wife. If things get too uncomfortable because the others just won't leave politics off the table, make your excuses ("We're sorry, but we don't see the point in spending a weekend steeped in bitterness," No, I guess that wouldn't work. I mean, "Something's come up that we have to attend to,") and leave.

john said...

Really? Karl Popper's son? Im impressed.

Ask him what he thinks about his dad being trashed by

Carl Cranor.

vbspurs said...

I deleted this comment from the other thread (leaving 2 others there):

Wow, I read what Michael_H said about the Salvation Army hat.

Either you guys have far more partisan friends than I do (and I even have an anarcho-syndicalist French dude as chum), or my rather regal demeanour freezes any kind of strife.

Haven't you guys cultivated the 1,000-yard-stare?

My stare has been known to give Brazilian waxes.

I guess I did learn a lot from my hero, William F. Buckley.

vbspurs said...

Works without fail for me, every time.

Host with the Most, I do that too!

Fox News was able to do that successfully with the Recreate 68' demonstrators, who when actually having to spout their views to a live audience, sounded like all partisans, from either side, do -- crazy or stupid.

Usually both.

Meade said...

"the 1,000-yard-stare"

Yikes! In fairness, Vic, you will need to disclose that stare to any and all suitors before they haplessly pop their respective big questions.

Trooper York said...

I think simublogging is a great idea. I will be happy to send you many inventive curses in Italian and few choice bon mots to drop on their heads.

Or alternately you can go with my usual attitude of genial contempt. “Hey nice to meet you, but you must realize that you are a dick and I don’t give a shit about what you have to say so let’s change the subject before you really start to piss me off and I snap your neck like a pencil.”

Or since you are a doctor, do what you do best. Prescribe some drugs. Some Zanex in the dip never goes amiss.

Wurly said...

I would serve a good Belgian beer with 3 or 4 times the alcohol content of normal beer. Before your guests realize it, they're totally drunk and its time to pull out the Twister board.

Works every time.

somefeller said...

Pogo - What makes you think you aren't the guy with extreme political views that makes them uncomfortable? Your guests may be having the same thoughts about you, or may have such thoughts by the end of the weekend.

jdeeripper said...

So my question, a serious one: How do I manage this, a weekend -- during the GOP convention- with a Euro social democrat and Karl Popper's son? Avoidance? Giant underpants? Drunkenness?

Simple. Find a common enemy.

Mike Huckabee would be a start. From there branch out to the larger anti-reality, anti-evolution, anti- Enlightenment Christian evangelical worldview.

Lefty socialist weirdos and Popperian critical rationalists will find common ground disliking the mentality of these people.

Unity through hatred.

Simon said...

Somefeller, I can't speak for Pogo, but my experience is that having certain views is never the problem. It's whether and how they're expressed that's the problem.

Joan said...

Pogo - What makes you think you aren't the guy with extreme political views that makes them uncomfortable?

Maybe the fact that Pogo never advocates murdering his political opponents?

It's frightening to realize that there are apparently a sizable number of people out there afraid ("uncomfortable" is just a code word) because others disagree with them. I doubt Pogo's acquaintance had any qualms about stating he'd like to see the President and Vice President "strung up," but that's a horrible thing to say. Would he say it about anyone else? Could Pogo have replied, "I hope they get Pelosi and Reid, too," what would have been the response? Somehow the suggestion that we hang the top-ranking Democrats is a lot more horrific than that we hang the top-ranking Republicans.

But I can't imagine Pogo would ever think such a thing, never mind say it. Different is not the same as evil.

vbspurs said...

Yikes! In fairness, Vic, you will need to disclose that stare to any and all suitors before they haplessly pop their respective big questions.

Meade, don't worry!

I suspend the 1,000 yard stare in all amorous situations, whether upright or recumbent.

former law student said...

Cheney and strings them up

I'd keep things neutral. Just say, "I don't know if that's likely to happen. A man whose friend apologizes for getting his face in the way after Cheney shot him has more power than I can imagine."

I just keep asking them questions, keeping my voice soft and modulated, listening to whatever their answers are, and then asking more questions.

Yuck. A touchy-feely conservative. Worst of both worlds.

Host with the Most said...

joan,

What you advocate certainly works well when you are around family - which is always a different dynamic. And, it's also different if it's in some else's home, not yours. There are more people with various agendas, and cutting remarks are made in passing, and even meals rarely provide a focused discussion time. My wife and I (and our children when they were younger) go through the same thing every week before New Year's at her parents in Northern California. With 8 children, 36 grandchildren, and (now) 21 great grandchildren, the annual 4-day get together can be insufferable. You have to pick your battles, place "family unity" and "time together" first, and be gracious beyond normal human ability. Thank God we insist on Christmas with our own family at home.

Unless I have it wrong, it sounds as though Pogo will be spending some meals with non-family guests in his home, and should therefore have the home field advantage of choosing the appropriate timing for discussion. Even most liberals will at least be thoughtful enough as visitors to respectfully keep most snide remarks to a minimum.


Pogo - pre-plan to have political discussion. I recommend a meal or desert time afterwards. You can even limit it to one meal, or two at the most.

Then, when one of your guests makes a political remark, immediately inform them with a smile that this weekend there are "no politics until the "political discussion hour" that you and the Mrs' have planned for everyone. Add that everyone will be free to bring up whichever topics they like, but until that time, your home is a "politics-free" zone. This will help focus their appetite for one-up-manship, and give them time to become more thoughtful foe when discussion time arrives.


Pogo - this is for you personally - you are an amazing wit on so many of your comments here. It is difficult to imagine you not holding your own in a political conversation.

Host with the Most said...

Could Pogo have replied, "I hope they get Pelosi and Reid, too," what would have been the response? Somehow the suggestion that we hang the top-ranking Democrats is a lot more horrific than that we hang the top-ranking Republicans.

What would the response be if he said, "I know how you feel, I hope they string up Obama, too"?

Theo Boehm said...

Simon is right.

It is better, however, to avoid talking anything political in the first place.

My preferred strategy when forced to talk with someone of looney persuasions who wears them on his or her sleeve, is to profoundly change the subject, preferably to something so boring it induces a catatonic trance.

Pogo said his stories caused his guests eyeballs to roll back, limbs to go limp, etc. I can't match that, only getting up to eye-glazing myself.

But I have gotten them to stare flatly into space with a little bit of rapid eye movement, so I can't be doing too badly.

Of course I'm a virtual font of boring, obscure subjects that are embarrassingly irrelevant.

I'm presentable and well-spoken enough, but I can suck the life out of a room in 5 minutes, such that everyone is staring at the ceiling and no one can remember anything that went on the next day.

I'm available for parties and corporate functions for the reasonable rate of $100/hour plus expenses.

vbspurs said...

Maybe the fact that Pogo never advocates murdering his political opponents?

Have you noticed, Joan, that there are some people who can get away with saying anything political at the top of their lungs...but others get into trouble for the same trick?

My father thinks he's one of the latter people.

He's a Lefty, but all his partners are Righty.

The medical profession is rife with the latter, especially in London and South Florida, his two domiciles.

Whilst others can talk endlessly about Labour being a pack of dickless wonders, or list their favourite passages from "The Black Book of Communism", dad has had to keep quiet.

He once got into trouble for piping up, you see. I'm not exactly sure what that was, since he's gone through life keeping mum about his politics.

So the poor man only lets loose in our home -- safe that his masculinity or sanity won't be called into question for his liberalism. But what did God give himas comfort in his old age?

An ultra-Commie-hating Republican daughter, with a stare which could kill small woodland animals.

Poor guy.

somefeller said...

Somefeller, I can't speak for Pogo, but my experience is that having certain views is never the problem. It's whether and how they're expressed that's the problem.

Fair point, and talking about stringing people up isn't appropriate political commentary, though it should be noted that some people use rhetoric like that all the time in other circumstances, and this person might be that type. Personally, I really don't like it when people talk offhandedly about how they could just beat or kill someone because of some annoyance, and I've found that such people usually aren't worth hanging out with.

That having been said, sometimes just stating a position can be seen as provocative, particularly if you're with a politically unsophisticated or thin-skinned crowd. And on the other hand, some statements of position are in fact provocative or worse, even if there's no threats or swearing involved. Let's put it this way, if I'm around someone who says that Obama is a Communist and his supporters are all traitors, I know I'm around someone not worth spending time with, even if that person isn't cursing or making threats.

Hey said...

Host - very simple, call the USSS or FBI (actually, you might not even need to do that... as Alec Baldwin said in The Departed "Patriot Act! Patriot Act!" now I just have to give Palladian a noogie). Mention to the nice gentlemen exactly what your proposed guest said, and that he was serious. You will then only be hosting Karl Popper's son and the lefty will be getting an intimate tour of the Judicial process.

With all the leftist terrorists resurrecting their careers these days, you can never be too careful.

PS: it is highly inappropriate to associate with any leftist. Though it does give you the chance to get incriminating evidence on their threats against the President or attempts to blow up national landmarks. Just make sure that you are true to your country and not your supposed friends.

bill said...

Acquaint yourself with "slap bet" from the show "How I Met Your Mother" and get a set of soccer referee cards. Since it's your home, set whatever ground rules you wish observed. Yellow card (warning) for the first infraction. For the second offense, show them the red card. The penalty is the other party gets to slap the face of the first party. Your rulings cannot be reviewed or overturned.

vbspurs said...

With all the leftist terrorists resurrecting their careers these days, you can never be too careful.

Ahh. This reminds me of a Romanian anecdote.

The year, 1942. The situation, a car with "GB" plates on them, clearly those of spies, since Romania was an ally of Germany at the time.

Only the plates weren't GB but 6B. The 6 was just shaped funny.

The Chief of Police decides to confront the whistle-blower with his "spies". The woman just happens to be a princess, and her husband is Austrian. They are anything but spies.

The denouncer looks at the couple and the Chief, completely unchastened.

"Well, even in time of war, we should have the enjoyment of denouncing."

See? Theo is not the only one who can make people's eyes glaze over.

Cheers,
Victoria

madawaskan said...

Joan said:

my very liberal Democrat family-
Same boat-

Does yours yell shit at the TV?

They'll say we're not talking politics then they'll insist on watching Hardball and Olberrmann at Mach 1.

If Bush comes on at other times they'll start yelling again at the set.

Anyways to the point-

Dear Pogo-
I found in my experiments that the BDS or any hatred really is closely linked to obsession or OCD-for some reason the best thing to do is keep their hands busy.

In fact I have invented a group gang solitaire game that involves as many as ten people at a time.
It's highly competitive and it's one deck per person.

When that gets going Chris Matthews can be foaming at the mouth and taking a dump on his desk and nobody notices.

If that doesn't work get them talking about themselves-works like a charm.

Crimso said...

Dentist: Chimperor McBushitler should be tried for crimes against humanity and shot, blah blah blah.

rhhardin: Can we please discuss something else?

Dentist: Oh. Okay. Is it safe?

vbspurs said...

Same boat-

Hmm. Althouse should have a poll about this.

"How many of you have close family members who are of a different political stripe than you?"

This allows the Althouse Lefties to participate, since they haven't been outting themselves as much as us conservatives.

somefeller said...

By the way, if you want to look at an example of "sometimes just stating a position can be seen as provocative, particularly if you're with a politically unsophisticated or thin-skinned crowd", just look at situations in which merely stating opposition to George W. Bush engenders immediate accusations of "BDS", "political hate speech" (to use a phrase popular around 2004) and the like.

Original Mike said...

Dentist: Chimperor McBushitler should be tried for crimes against humanity and shot, blah blah blah.

rhhardin: CHOMP

Dentist: YOU BIT OFF MY FINGER!!!

rhhardin: You were saying?

Original Mike said...

Nobody in my family shares my political views. They must wonder where they went wrong during my childhood.

downtownlad said...

Who would want to spend a weekend with Pogo - perhaps one of the most bigoted, racist, annoying fucks in all the land? Let's pray that one of his kids or grandkids turns out to be gay so that there is sweet justice in the land.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

My doctor started giving his ( left-leaning ) views about the Iraq war while performing a physical on my. When he finally paused to hear my response, I informed him that I try to avoid getting into a political discussion with someone who is about to examine my prostate.

He let the subject drop.

Richard Dolan said...

Pogo will only be responsible for his half of the conversation, on whatever topics it may wander into. If the other participants turn out to be a bunch of boors, well, that is likely to make for some boorish moments. But Pogo is not married to them, they're not relatives, and he doesn't work with them or have to see them on any regular basis. (Those would all be excellent reasons to avoid topics that may generate a few sparks around compustible material, the reason being that the relationship is more important to preserve than the spark-generating discussions are important to pursue. Here, there is no relationship to be concerned about.) So if they act like tiresome idiots, all he has to do is get through whatever part of the weekend he chooses to stick out. But what's the point of socializing with them at all if the entire exercise turns into the avoidance of any give-and-take on the obvious topics everyone will be thinking about and where they are the ones looking to talk about those topics?

Rather than a lot of dancing around, all based on the assumption that the Euro guy or Popper's son are boorish loudmouths, I'd instead do them the favor of treating them like civilized adults. If they want to get into a political discussion, and express their views strongly, so what. They want to string up Bush and Cheney; you may want to nominate them for the Truman Award (recognizing, as I am sure Pogo does, that the Nobel is reserved for lefties only).

Living in deep blue NYC, I'm used to being the only conservative at a party or other affair. Because politics in NYC is something of a mono-culture, many people are astonished to meet a specimen of the conservative species. So why deprive them of the pleasures of that discovery? You may both get something out of it. All the fussing about awkwardness and avoiding controversy and the like is just a way of avoiding life. That's fine for some people, but just remember that you're going to be dead for a long time. Why the urge to imitate it before its time?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Have you noticed, Joan, that there are some people who can get away with saying anything political at the top of their lungs...but others get into trouble for the same trick?

Well that is the classic
liberal/lefty free pass. Like I said, liberals are all about the children except those whose mom’s decide they shouldn’t have them. Most are opposed to capital punishment of a serial murderer but think it’s just fine and dandy for a conservative politician who voted to cancel some school’s hot lunch program.

Hell look at the near orgasmic joy the left went through when Tony Snow died from cancer? And this is form the so-called progressive, compassionate people who again, light candles and pray for the John Wayne Gacey’s of the world but delight because Bush’s spokesman died.

I have a couple of liberal cycling buddies and we can have intelligent discussions that don’t resort to screaming but for the most part, I keep my views to myself. For example, my wife’s best friend thinks that welfare reform was the most vicious legislation ever passed and actually thinks I’m a prick because I think people should actually try and attain some personal responsibility and independence for themselves rather than rely on the government to support them. Yes, actually called me a heartless prick to my face because I hold the belief that other people should strive for self-sufficiency. Needless to say I don’t discuss politics with her ever.

madawaskan said...

vspurs-

well speaking of boats-

I read the other thread-and Pogo mentions kayaking-damn do a float trip or go canoeing.

I do this-I always make sure that I am in the back because I got this weird J-stroke that can flip a huge canoe with three people in it.

I don't know how it happens-

Trooper York said...

"Yes, actually called me a heartless prick to my face because I hold the belief that other people should strive for self-sufficiency. Needless to say I don’t discuss politics with her ever."

Just tell he that no one would ever hold any kind of prick to her face, heartless or otherwise. And that the proper terminology is headless prick (only of course if you are circumised), and show her if she doesn't believe you. That always stops the conversation dead in it's tracks.

madawaskan said...

Hoosier-

Well my husband is military he would be overseas-some place unknown to me-and they'd call me up with near glee about the latest IED and how that would be bad for Bush...

Unflippin' real.

My husband now does some counter IED crap and thought of stuff nobody else has- I think he was motivated to wipe the merde eating grins off their faces.

Cripes sorry I'm using this thread like some group therapy session...

I think I'll go hit the treadmill-

Next time let's talk RIVERS.

I'm always on the hunt for a good kayaking trip.

Original Mike said...

My doctor made me nervous when he started praising the Cuban medical system. Fortunately, I know him well enough to trust him (as a doctor).

gophermomeh said...

RD - I couldn't agree with you more. Pogo - don't worry so much, it's not worth the energy. Try to enjoy their company - everyone's got some positive attribute - find that in each guest, focus on that and you'll be fine.

Trooper York said...

Also you can steal the automatic responses of several of your fellow regular commenters:

Downtownlad; You are a homophobe.

Mort: You racist.

Simon: Ipso facto mumbo jumbo.

Titus: I just pinched off a loaf.

Trooper York: Have I told you lately that the Giants won the Super Bowl.

RH Hardin: Look at these photos of naked chickens. Eh!

vbspurs said...

Living in deep blue NYC, I'm used to being the only conservative at a party or other affair. Because politics in NYC is something of a mono-culture, many people are astonished to meet a specimen of the conservative species. So why deprive them of the pleasures of that discovery?

Richard, I love your reply, but it reminds me uncomfortably of all the times I've been in London, facing my (Lefty) relatives or (downright Communist) social acquaintances.

Added fuel to the fire is that they know I live in America. As I conveyed earlier, anti-Americanism is inextricably tied to Leftism.

It's easier being in the US, because "even" Democrats will come to her rescue. They'll attack Bush all they want, but most demurr about their fellow Americans or America the nation itself.

But when you go abroad, it's a nightmare.

You have to realise, I left the UK in 1998. So I am talking about THEN. Do not be fooled into believing that the world loved America with all their hearts under Clinton.

America has been resented since the 1950s, hated since the 1960s, and ridiculed since the 1980s.

The Bush Era is just the beer chaser.

Whenever I go back to London, I act as American surrogate for these people, since the Americans who fly in high society there are all lefties (or pretend to be for their own good).

I call it the "I have my American now!!" Syndrome.

When this syndrome sufferer has you in their grip, your airspace will be constricted. Several people start to surround you, spectating but barracking in turns. Then they edge you closer towards a corner. At the end of the diatribe, when spittle is freely flowing into cocktails, your heart will be racing with impotent loathing. You will have lost track of the time-space continuum. Every face is a Gaussian blur, or miniaturised, like George Washington painted on a strand of hair.

It is ghastly enough to be Conservative, but add American to the trail mix, and it becomes tectonic.

That's why I don't fear the Recreate '68 crowd, derisive relatives, or BDS dentists.

I've faced down the real enemy abroad, and their heart is as black as sin. Shooting is too good for such people. My best ammo is staring.

Cheers,
Victoria

chickenlittle said...

Pogo:
First, I suggest you serve wapatuli. You know what that is right?

Second, don't bring up politics. Bring up kids. I have some pretty lefty dutch inlaws. A few years ago, when we visited, they had the collected works of Michael Moore neatly arranged on their book shelf. But ever since having a kid (their contribution to saving Holland) they seem to be well again.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

See? Theo is not the only one who can make people's eyes glaze over.


I can expound on the Sharpe Ratio, standard deviation calculations, alpha and beta in portfolio construction. That's usually a pretty good conversation stopper. If that doesn't work I can bring up bond duration and how to calculate.

My family is all liberals and when we go down to visit in the Bay Area, we call it going behind enemy lines. Generally, we all make it a point to discuss things other than politics. We made that pact after a very nasty Thanksgiving that made us uncomfortable and felt as if we were being attacked. If that doesn't happen we have been known to suddenly discover that we need to be elsewhere.

I have noticed that it is almost always those on the left who feel it is their right to loudly and argumentatively voice their opinions at social gatherings. They assume that they are right, you are stupid if you don't agree and make it their mission to try to convince you of their superior judgement. Conservatives tend to just keep their opinions to themselves and have much better manners than to turn a social gathering into a political debate.

Original Mike said...

Richard Dolan said: But Pogo is not married to them ...

which raises an excellent point, Pogo. Remember that they'll go home at the end of the weekend, but your wife will still be there. As long as you comport yourself to her satisfaction, everything will be cool in the end.

Henry said...

The question no one has asked is: Are these people mean drunks or happy drunks?

One way for people to discuss opposing political views without rancor is to do so in broad comic voice. I have several times known Republicans who were happily accepted in a very liberal crowd because they were loudly comic in their opinions (I am generally cast as a skeptic; I hold forth for no party).

Reflective listening is also a very good idea -- not to give people the rope to hang themselves, or to be all touch-feely; it's just more interesting than arguing. These people are your friends (or relatives), right? Why not find out what they think?

vbspurs said...

Conservatives tend to just keep their opinions to themselves and have much better manners than to turn a social gathering into a political debate.

DBQ, first off, you have my sympathies. :(

I would go further and say that these social situations make us Conservatives find impersonal outlets for our social frustration. Blogs being a case in point, of course.

In fact, this is exactly what Barack Obama WANTED to say, in making the point about "bitter rural people who cling to their religion and guns": that they find a concrete way of expressing their dissatisfaction -- in this case, by showing it at the polls.

The only problem is that he couched it in terms that were ham-handed, and reflexively liberal.

It's like he understands the motivation, but arrives at condenscending conclusions because that's how he's been conditioned to think of Conservatives.

Unfortunately, there is an added irony in that he was at a gathering, talking to liberals about conservatives, the way a lot of white people used to talk about black people when the latter were not present.

I wonder if he's aware of that...

Cheers,
Victoria

former law student said...

Trooper York: Have I told you lately that the Giants won the Super Bowl.

I learned from watching the roll call that New Jersey has laid claim to the Giants. You'd best build a stadium in NYS.

Kirk Parker said...

Trooper,

"That always stops the conversation dead in it's tracks."

I hear the voice of experience speaking.

Theo Boehm said...

Brava, DBQ!

It seems you, Pogo, and perhaps I have the gift of avoiding political fights by the Mollusk Method, i.e., squirting enough dark confusion to confuse irritating pests. We then can make our graceful retreat with our dignity intact and adrenaline low.

Victoria uses the mal occi approach, but I find that saps far too much life-sustaining energy I want to save for writing comments on Althouse.

I've been thinking of writing a particularly boring opera in neo-Baroque style about our special talent and calling it, The Gift of Boredom, or, The Misanthrope's Revenge.

DBQ, are you a soprano, or do I have to write the principal female role for alto?

Chip Ahoy said...

String them up indulgence continued:

Yes, string them up with marine chord attached to helmets with strong chin straps then attached to poles and used in a new sport called Olympic Presidential Tether Ball.

Yes, string them up as marionettes and duct tape their mouths shut so they cannot speak and force them to perform in puppet renditions of Farenhiet911, Quills and Three Kings.

Yes, string them up on opposite sides of a giant ball of string and set in a large room filled with 1,000 cats and only one litter box the size of sandbox that doesn't get cleaned with catnip taped to their heads like ear muffs.

Yes, string them up with cables attached to their tits with alligator clamps then set on skateboards and dragged through the streets of Washington like pull-toys.

Yes, string them up with threads super-glued to the hair in their ears and suspended from the rafters and swung at each other until they bash each other's guts out.

Yes, string them up in a parachute made from loosely threaded strings then dropped for AF1 from 18,000 feet above Death Valley.

Yes, string them up in wire cable as a silk worm strings itself then drop them into the Bermuda Triangle during a hurricane.

The point is, to have a good larf with your lovely Liberal friends when they're indulging their inner unloveliness. It's all for fun.

AlphaLiberal said...

Bear in mind, for Pogo, "far left" means centrist.

Here's another John McCain fact we're not allowed to discuss.

gophermomeh said...

Conservatives tend to just keep their opinions to themselves and have much better manners than to turn a social gathering into a political debate.

Your theory doesn't hold true. This is so not the description I would use for the Conservatives in my family. Suburban Milwaukee - you can flip you whole theory on it's head. The idea of going behind enemy lines, I agree with. But also take into account the possibility of a self-rightous, control freak opposite you. Political affiliation is irrelevant.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

DBQ, are you a soprano, or do I have to write the principal female role for alto?

I have a pretty good range generally Contralto through the mid upper levels of Mezzo Soprano. Ages and ages ago I used to sing professionally. :-)

"A common saying among contraltos is that they're only allowed to play 'witches', 'bitches', or 'britches'."

LOL!!

Chip Ahoy said...

* String them up in bungee chord that unrolls so they spin as they descend like a yo-you when dropped from the bridge over Royal Gorge then stretches until it dips them into the Arkansas River then snaps them back and dips them in repeatedly. Then re-roll them and repeat the process until they pass out then slap them back into consciousness and repeat the process until the crowd on the bridge that was attracted for the event eventually tires and leaves them there for the crows to pick to death.

Chip Ahoy said...

* string them together then using cellophane tape, reconstruct the constitution they've shredded right before their eyes, and put it in a protected air-tight case that descends into the floor where no Republican can ever get their muddy mitts on again, then push the push the strung-together Bush and Cheney into a pen at Guantanamo at the time so-called enemies of State are scheduled for a recreation break after being shown pictures of a Koran being flushed down a toilet page by page.

Palladian said...

Can you imagine a dinner party with AlphaLiberal, Freder Frederson and garage mahal as guests? Maybe they wouldn't say much because how can you cut and paste from Kos, TPM and HuffPo in actual conversation?

chuck b. said...

In my family it's been the conservatives who are most likely to rant and rave without invitation or any sense of propriety. Or it was. My grandparents were the worst, and they're dead now.

I even skipped Christmas in 1993 and '94. The early Clinton years were absolutely unbearable.

Politically, we seem to be fairly MOR. Everyone wants a little bit of this, and a little bit of that.

Chip Ahoy said...

String their eyelids shut and dress them in SM gear including open-ended leather chaps then taken to the Eagles Nest for Sunday beer bash.

Revenant said...

I eventually just quit associating with my far-left friends. The arguments were too depressing.

Chip Ahoy said...

String them up by the wrists and underfeed them for a period so that their skin loosens then do a whole Buffalo Bill number on them as in the movie Silence of the Lambs, make a fabulous leather garment out of both of them to be worn by Obama after his coronation at a party on a yacht with all his well-healed Liberal friends who will never question those impeccably well-tailored voluptuous breasts are not anything but his own.

Chip Ahoy said...

Yes, indeed, string them up by the neck as in an ordinary unimaginative Western hanging where the horse is slapped so that it startles off leaving the prisoners hanging, except this time strap their boots to the stirrups to make sure it pulls their head off, leaving their bodies to flop up and down on the back of the horse spraying blood across the dusty street.

Chip Ahoy said...

Yes! String them up on the end of a working oil derrick so that they're lifted up and then smashed down over and over and over and over and over until there's nothing left but rope.

Chip Ahoy said...

String them up to the end of a garage door so you can do what the oil derrick does except you get to control it yourself manually.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Actually, this is a serious work related issue for me. When discussing portfolios, investments, the economy and what might lie in the future for our investing strategies based on future political decisions regarding taxes, oil production, etc and etc.....I have to tippie toe around politics until I discern which page (or party affiliation) the client is on. Democrat, Republican, Conservative, Libertarian, Liberal, Green Party, Evangelical Right, or what have you.

Once I know where they lie politically speaking, I can tailor my discussions of my recommendations so that I won't offend the client yet get them to be logical about where we should be investing.

garage mahal said...

Can you imagine a dinner party with AlphaLiberal, Freder Frederson and garage mahal as guests? Maybe they wouldn't say much because how can you cut and paste from Kos, TPM and HuffPo in actual conversation?

You just can't take an opposing view Palladian, that's your problem. I don't wig out and chase down commentators like a sheep herding dog when I hear BlackHitlerMessiahMarxistTerrorist!every other comment, so why should you wig out when you hear one or two liberals here giving you shit?

Sorry, the people you hang out with here and the party you de facto support are what's depressing, the platform and ideas even more depressing, and you just don't want to be reminded of it as you appear already to be a bitter and miserable fuck as it is.

Chip Ahoy said...

String them up to the backs of rodeo bulls and use them as saddles.

Or

String them up to the runners of helicopters ferrying dignitaries at Democratic National Convention so they get both terrorized by the height and smashed by the weight when it lands. Then keep doing that for thoroughness and to drive home the point and having it stand as a lesson for anybody thinking about crossing our Liberal loveliness in the future.

vbspurs said...

Palladian wrote:

Can you imagine a dinner party with...

I was thinking about this, at the drive-thru' just now, listening to NPR, as usual. Anyone of you catch it?

Jimmy Carter was on, and NPR were taking calls from listeners. One 30 y.o. guy said that what Obama's nomination meant to him, was that his generation finally took over the Civil Rights generation of his parents. A rather gristled point to make to the face of an 84 y.o. man, but Carter took it in stride.

He said that every Christmas, he and Rosalyn cashed in all their Frequent Flyer miles, and treated their entire family to a freebie stay in Plains.

And that of the 24 grandchildren he has of legal age, 23 of them are voting for Obama.

So, in reading this thread, and of beloved Pogo's predicament, spare a care for that poor Carter grandson or daughter.

Can you imagine what it must be like for that person when politics comes up?

Crikey.

Pogo said...

I am humbled and immensely humored by the responses to my query. Best laughs I've had in awhile.

Except DTL; he remains the turd in the punchbowl.

I feel better about the weekend. The lefty who made the remark almost never says things like that, which is why I thought Ruh-roh. In times past I have had nice long chats with each couple about life and even politics, but never have they been together in the same room, and never has this guy spewed like a moonbat before, at least not to me.

Me? I walk out of the room when the lefties begin their chanting about Bush.

Amongst the ideas floated here, I think I may end up trying variants of all, especially if the situation arises more than once. That plus enormous Fruit-of-the-Looms. Who could resist a try at a cute little vest, or a turban?

Nobody has yet suggested wrestling. I'm quite sure I can take the lefty's wife, in 2 of 3 falls.

Failing that, I'll get sauced. That will kill two nerds with one stoned. But I repeat myself.

Chip Ahoy said...

Or string them up and tie them to the blades of a helicopter so they fly around for several dizzying rotations then get flung off onto something satisfyingly hard and get their brains smashed out and the mess just left there for insects to clear out and weather to eventually wash away.

Chip Ahoy said...

It's been fun, as usual but I must now stop indulging Pogo's guest, for Karen is coming over to help me catch up and to have lunch.

vbspurs said...

Speaking of BlackHitlerMessiahMarxistTerrorist, the lady who followed on NPR asked with trembling voice:

"The US is supposedly the world's most advanced country, but other countries have had a woman president. I mean, why can't we have a woman president too?!"

You know, like it's some Cabbage Patch doll we REALLY deserve, but our parents refused to duke it out with other parents at Toys R Us, and screwed us over.

Or like the slogan "We Got Next" in that WNBA commercial.

Or like Reagan wanted a jelly-bean.

Or fill in your own inane analogy here.

Since when did we become a nation where the message becomes more important than earning it? Horatio Alger would be appalled.

Simon said...

Palladian said...
"Can you imagine a dinner party with AlphaLiberal, Freder Frederson and garage mahal as guests?"

Hey. I'd have a drink with two of those people any time.

vbspurs said...

the turd in the punchbowl.

Wapatuli.

To be served with fish tacos.

vbspurs said...

After reading Chip's string theories, I'm thinking:

Is this the best thread ever, or what?

garage mahal said...

Blogger ate the end of my post. I asked you if you wanted to do dinner Palladian. Haha.

Simon
Ditto. If you're ever up this way in So Wisc shoot me a msg.

Original Mike said...

Ah, the party theme emerges: "Don't be the turd in the puchbowl". You should have a banner and party favors made up.

Revenant said...

Can you imagine a dinner party with AlphaLiberal, Freder Frederson and garage mahal as guests? Maybe they wouldn't say much because how can you cut and paste from Kos, TPM and HuffPo in actual conversation?

That's unfair to Freder and garage, in my opinion; Alpha's the only one of the three who sticks to reciting the leftie blogosphere's arguments.

vbspurs said...

LOL. So I Googled Turd in the Punchbowl, the better to rush the image for printing at Sir Speedy, and this came up.

But, curiously, also this.

I know! Maybe you can have a poster of him blown up extra-big, like Demi Moore did of Billy Idol in St. Elmo's Fire.

Original Mike said...

There was an article in the WSJ today, Victoria, claiming that attire directions on party invitations have become undecipherable (e.g. "high black tie"). Maybe that's what happened to Cheney.

(That photo is hilarious).

nrn312 said...

Me? I walk out of the room when the lefties begin their chanting about Bush.

Kills the ODS buzz.

Host with the Most said...

I can't think of one thing I have ever politically agreed with downtownlad, AlphaLiberal or Freder on, but I would enjoy dinner with any of them because they are obviously (deduced from their writings) fascinating people.

somefeller said...

Gee, all this weeping and gnashing of teeth about the dread social oppression of mean liberals who are just cruel to conservatives, who never, ever bring up politics at social gatherings or do so in an offensive or provocative manner makes my heart bleed.

It's funny, conservatives once were pretty good about (and often right about) criticizing the politics of victimization. Now they embrace it, and wallow in it even more effectively than the most obnoxious early 90s PC campus activist. Try not to let the Left ruin your Labor Day weekend plans, fellas.

vbspurs said...

(That photo is hilarious).

Too right, Original Mike. And his wife looks like the Bride of Bigfoot.

Peter V. Bella said...

Pogo if you are that worried there are two things you can do. One, cancel with one of them. Probably the rabid liberal; anyone who talks politics when the discussion is food should be trussed up.

If that is not possible then get Gorilla tape. It is much better than duct tape. Just slap it across their mouths. You get all the food, all the wine, and a nice quiet dinner to boot.

Tibore said...

"An ultra-Commie-hating Republican daughter, with a stare which could kill small woodland animals."

I need to marry you!!!

somefeller said...

An ultra-Commie-hating Republican daughter, with a stare which could kill small woodland animals.

A medusa, in other words.

Pogo said...

"conservatives once were pretty good about (and often right about) criticizing the politics of victimization. Now they embrace it"

Huh?
I just want to eat food, talk, kayak, bullshit, and sleep (repeat) for two days with friends without facing political dysentery or spontaneous human combustion from talkin' electoral smack.

Don't nobody sing Kum-effin-yaah no more?

Alternate plan: on first hearing the dreaded words intoning a rant-about-to-be-spewed, I will launch into song. Yes, I will sing, even though my voice has made cattle bleed and cats spin like underage chinese figure skaters about to be sent back to their farms. My singing voice is so bad, it causes rivers to change course and makes baby Jesus cry so hard the Virgin Mary smacks Him silly.

Iffff you mmmisssss the trainnnnn I'm onnnnnn, youuuu will knoowwww that I ammmm gonnnnnne.... 500 mmmmiillllllesss"

Revenant said...

Pogo's right, somefeller. Wanting to avoid an unpleasant dinner conversation (and keep in mind that the leftie and libertarian don't like each other's politics any more than they like Pogo's) is hardly the same thing as wanting anyone who says mean things about you punished with expulsion or jail time. The latter being the position of the aforementioned "early 90s politically correct activists".

blake said...

This is an awesome thread, TitPB notwithstanding.

somefeller said...

Pogo and Revenant: I wasn't referring to the initial issue of dinner conversation, but the general issue (which came up in the comments) about how mean liberals supposedly are to other people, and how they are the only ones who bring up their political views rudely and in places where it's really not appropriate. The whole tone and tenor of those comments reeked of self-pity and cultural victimization politics (two things I'm seeing a lot of on the Right these days, particularly among religious conservative types), and that's what I was talking about with my PC comments. And with regard to that issue, make no mistake, that attitude pervades a certain type of politics just as much as leftist PC attitudes pervades another.

Off-topic: Revenant, awhile back you directed me to the Pew Charitable Trust's survey on religion and charity. I printed it out and read it over lunch around that time. A good read, but one thing that stuck out (if I remember correctly) was that while charitable giving correlates with church attendance, it doesn't seem to vary with ideology. In other words, liberal Unitarians and Episcopalians are as generous as conservative Baptists, and both are more generous than non-churchgoers. Interesting fact, if true. While Pew is a reputable source, I have an inherent skepticism about polling to draw big conclusions from one poll.

vbspurs said...

Tibore, my darling!

(Wait, am I not engaged to another Althouse commenter or three? I think one was Blake)

Cheers,
Victoria

Tibore said...

"(Wait, am I not engaged to another Althouse commenter or three? I think one was Blake)"

Pshaw... That just means I'll have to reduce all other challengers to quivering puddles with my formidable intelligence and dazzling wit. Either that, or from behind with my Louisville Slugger... as long as they're outta the picture...

Revenant said...

In other words, liberal Unitarians and Episcopalians are as generous as conservative Baptists, and both are more generous than non-churchgoers.

My understanding is that that is, generally speaking, the case -- although churchgoers are on average more conservative than non-churchgoers, Christianity being an inherently conservative faith.

As for your point about conservatives complaining about mean left-wingers, conservatives have always complained. The key difference is whether or not they support the criminalization of opposing speech, as PC activists do.

somefeller said...

Revenant, if you are referring to hate crimes statutes, those aren't criminalizing speech, they are beefing up the punishments for existing crimes. Motives are always considered with regard to severity of punishments, so hate crimes statutes aren't a big departure from existing law on that score. If your concern is that speech is being used as evidence of motive, that's always been the case, like when someone overhears a defendant say "That guy slept with my wife! I want to kill that bastard!". If you're talking about criminalizing speech per se, that didn't get beyond attempted campus regulations (which aren't criminal statutes) and in any case such regulations were shot down, often with the help of the ACLU.

Speaking of the ACLU, here's an example of criminalizing speech from the Right (or, to be precise, from the Bush crowd), which the ACLU fought. I trust you think they were correct in doing so?

Revenant said...

Revenant, if you are referring to hate crimes statutes, those aren't criminalizing speech, they are beefing up the punishments for existing crimes.

PC activists have tried both. The problem is that laws against racist speech, homophobic speech, et al get thrown out for being flagrantly unconstitutional. So those sorts of speech restrictions are confined to universities, businesses, and other non-government institutions that aren't bound by the first amendment, until such time as the Supreme Court has a sufficient number of left-wingers on it.

in any case such regulations were shot down

Saying they "were shot down" makes it sound like they no longer exist. This is only slightly less ridiculous than saying crime no longer exists in America. Yes, the speech codes are illegal; they are also common and widespread. thefire.org maintains good lists of current violators.

I would also point out that you're moving the goalposts from "what the activists want" to "what they can get away with". The fortunate fact that the first amendment stands in the way of the Left doesn't change their motives or desires.

Speaking of the ACLU, here's an example of criminalizing speech from the Right (or, to be precise, from the Bush crowd)

You're confusing "a right-winger trying to criminalize speech" with "the Right trying to criminalize speech".

somefeller said...

The fact that there are workplace or other rules that regulate speech in circumstances that aren't protected by the First Amendment is also not anything new. If a workplace wants to set up some very PC rules of conduct, that is and should be its right, just as it can set rules on expected dress codes in the workplace, how one can decorate one's office, etc. That's life in any place where you aren't self-employed.

Also, the Right is nothing more than what the dominant collection of right-wingers say and do, and the same can be said for the Left. The fact that the head right-winger in charge (or his allies, at least) conducted themselves in the manner I mentioned shows that criminalizing speech (as in, go to jail, not just get fired, though that also seems to be the case in the example cited) isn't something one only finds coming from the Left.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Without trying to come off as Miss Manners or Emily Post, the difference that I have seen between the conservatives and the liberals is the lack of decorum or sense of place from those on the left.

By that I mean, if you are invited to a dinner party or are in a group of mixed people by sex, age and political persuasion, it is rude and obnoxious to begin spouting off on politics, religion or your latest intimate operation or personal condition. In a social setting, no one wants to discuss these things. It is the setting, the time and place that makes the speech inappropriate.

Unless the host has made it clear that he/she is encouraging this type of conversation, then it is self indulgent and just plain rude. When Pogo's guests begin discussing these topics they are exhibiting bad manners.

Conservatives tend to have been taught better. :-)