November 20, 2010

A Madison liberal struggles to understand the 2010 elections and runs to the classic liberal explanation: The people are stupid.

Bill Lueders's Isthmus article is subtitled "The Triumph of Stupidity." He asks UW-Madison political science professor Charles Franklin how people could vote the way they did, and when Franklin answers "They're pretty damn stupid," he says "Thank you, professor... That's the answer I was looking for."
Frankly, it's an answer embraced by many people I know. One of my Isthmus colleagues sent me a study showing that Dane County, which bucked the trends on Election Day, is by far the most educated county in the state. "When conservatives cut support for education," she mused, "they do so to keep people dumb and their own interests in power."
Welcome to my world: Dane County, Wisconsin, home of people who tell themselves they are the smart people and those who disagree with them must certainly be dumb. They don't go through the exercise of putting themselves in the place of someone who thinks differently from the way they do. But how would it feel to be intelligent, informed, and well-meaning and to think what conservatives think? Isn't that the right way for an intelligent, informed, and well-meaning person to understand other people? If you short circuit that process and go right to the assumption that people who don't agree with you are stupid, how do you maintain the belief that you are, in fact, intelligent, informed, and well-meaning?

What is liberal about this attitude toward other people? You wallow in self-love, and what is it you love yourself for? For wanting to shower benefits on people... that you have nothing but contempt for.

IN THE COMMENTS: Prof. Franklin responds. I front-page his comment here.

257 comments:

1 – 200 of 257   Newer›   Newest»
The Crack Emcee said...

One of my Isthmus colleagues sent me a study showing that Dane County, which bucked the trends on Election Day, is by far the most educated county in the state.

Didn't you just take a survey of us and we collectively told you the best and the brightest are, in many ways, America's idiots?

Well there's your proof.

bagoh20 said...

If we are stupid, that changes nothing about our rights under a democratic republic. Our representatives are chosen by majority vote of the people, not just the "smart" people. It was a terrible oversight by the founders. Our living constitution should be amended to fix this. Let's vote on it.

traditionalguy said...

That was a powerful post, Professor. The University community feels safer behind the walls built of a stronghold of group-think. Only a more powerful truth can break down those walls. That is why they refuse to listen to others views...for fear they will hear the more powerful truth.

Richard Fagin said...

It would feel like an overpowering urge to move to Texas where intelligent, well informed people can think conservative thoughts without being the object of their neighbors' contempt.

bagoh20 said...

"Dane County, which bucked the trends on Election Day, is by far the most educated county in the state."

Such a fact leads me to an entirely different conclusion, but I'm "stupid" like that.

bagoh20 said...

Bankrupt California bucked the trend reelecting every one of it's disastrous legislators, and very few people around the world think it was intelligence winning out. If you think California is going the right direct then you must be highly "educated".

garage mahal said...

tags: conservatives, PMS, empathy, feelings, mood swings, tears, need hugs

Ah Pooh said...

This post is magnificent! Should be required reading for all other bloggers.

tim maguire said...

We all know the saying "if you're conservative at 20, you have no heart. If you're liberal at 40, you have no head." There's a lot of truth to that saying, but there's a secondary truth that is usually overlooked--many conservatives were liberal in their youth, whereas very few liberals were ever conservative.

As a result, conservatives have a much better understanding of liberals and liberalism; I've never come across a liberal who had the slightest clue who conservatives are, what they believe or why they believe it.

There's another truism about life--you have to learn a lot before you can understand just how much you don't know. That's why most wise men, gurus, etc. claim to know nothing.

You put these two things together and what do you have? It is the ignorance of liberals that makes them so certain of their intellectual superiority. Their simplistic thinking that convinces them of their subtlety, their narrow horizons that convince them of their open-mindedness.

They simply don't know enough to critique other ideas and values. They assume they are smarter because they are dumber.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

A conundrum I'm forced to face as a California voter. Electing Brown, re-electing Boxer, and defeating prop. 23, the only conclusion I can come to is that California voters are dumb, dumb, dumb. Does that make it a classic conservative explanation?

Maguro said...

Super-geniuses garage mahal and MUL/Ritmo/Big Govt Trickle Down guy also came to the same conclusion here. Surely indicative of something.

edutcher said...

How much does anybody want to bet that, if any of those 'dumb' voters went back to voting Lefty any time in the rest of this century, their IQ would suddenly rise about 40 points?

The Lefties are a really sad lot. They don't dare have an heretical thought and have to perpetually tell themselves and each other how they're the only enlightened, intelligent beings on the planet. As everybody else moves away from the Left Coast and the Northeast Corridor because of the excessive taxation and inimical business climate, will they even notice?

Bob Ellison said...

Well, turn it around. When conservatives wonder why liberals think the way they do, they (conservatives) tend to short-circuit the analysis and conclude that liberals are simply fools.

The big challenge for both sides is simply to consider the possibility that the other side is sincere. For liberals, that means (among other things) eschewing the "they cling to guns and religion" style of analysis and opening up to the notion that the conservative ideology can be both sincerely humane and internally consistent. For conservatives, it means (among other things) throwing out the "they want government control over everything" assumption and believing that compassion for fellow humans really is the driving force behind liberalism.

After that, it can all become a respectful discussion of policies, which the liberals will lose, of course.

Big Mike said...

Wow. Back during the 2008 election I'd have said you'd never reach this stage of enlightenment.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

@tim maguire

Nails it.

Richard Dolan said...

"What is liberal about this attitude toward other people?"

That's one of those trick SAT-type questions that lawprofs like to throw out -- the 'what word doesn't fit' type. And the word is -- liberal!

That tag has been a misnomer for some time. Try "lefty" or since we're describing the really smart half of America, we can use French: dirigiste. They are the folks with the solutions; we are the folks with the problems. And, no matter whether their solutions fix what ails us, we should just take the medicine. They know better -- you can tell them by their training, list of degrees, credentials and pedigree.

Just as liberal is a mismomer, it's not quite right to say that the lefties have contempt for the common man. Latin gets it better -- well meaning condescension of the noblesse oblige sort is more the idea. They may get impatient when the natives refuse to take their medicine, but it's mostly the paternal sort of impatience.

But the best part of the whole thing is that another word also describes that sort of person -- loser, which is what they tend to do when the natives figure out what they're all about and decide to vote them out.

Thank you, Jesus. It's just another proof of the existence of God.

JAY said...

For conservatives, it means (among other things) throwing out the "they want government control over everything" assumption

The assumption is based on available facts.

There is not a single aspect of life the left does not wish to regulate.

Not one.

JAY said...

"When conservatives cut support for education," she mused, "they do so to keep people dumb and their own interests in power."

Uh, the "education" establishment has been failing for a generation now.

Continuing to support it would be stupid.

Conservatives are realists and this woman is an idiot.

Quayle said...

There is no compassion in such lefties.

They're are heartless at the core because at the core they are not interested in other people, only in themselves and continuous preening with their 'correct' political views.

A classic example: Mormon congregations (and no doubt other 'conservative' denominations could tell similar stories) have a system to care for their poor, on their own without any government help. The members fast one day a month and donate the proceeds of the money saved (and more when able) to a fund that takes care for the rest of the month, of the needs of the unfortunate.

I know of one congregation whose more affluent members recently got together and bought a fellow congregant's home to keep it out of foreclosure.

But because the Mormons don't believe in gay marriage, to the average liberal they are thereby obviously hateful, horrible people.

And this kind of thinking is what passes for "intelligence" in counties like Dane.

Paul Zrimsek said...

If you were to examine this phenomenon in depth, it would make for a pretty good book.

JAY said...

Welcome to my world: Dane County, Wisconsin, home of people who tell themselves they are the smart people and those who disagree with them must certainly be dumb. They don't go through the exercise of putting themselves in the place of someone who thinks differently from the way they do.

Of course.

They are arrested development adolescents.

People who have the mindset of 17 year olds can't think critically.

Anthony said...

I consider myself a liberal, and this isthmus article makes me think that the writer and pol-sci professor are stupid. For a professor of political science at a world-class university, one of the most respected public universities in this country to be so lazy--and insulting--in his analysis of the electorate is embarrassing.

I believe there are far too many people that are uniformed about the structure of government and of substantive issues. The recent pew research poll confirms that. It found that only 46% of the public knew that the GOP won the House and but not the Senate in the most recent election. And substantively, only 16% of the public knows that more than half of the loans made under TARP have been paid back. However, I don't know what percentage of actual voters are uninformed on procedural and substantive issues and I don't make assumptions about what political party they're voting for. To do otherwise is to generalize to a degree that renders an argument completely unpersuasive.

To Althouse's last point, about giving benefits to people you have contempt for, I don't believe most liberals have contempt for their fellow Americans. At least not the liberals I surround myself with. But even if they did, I think the principle is more important than the people that benefit from that principle. For example, I would hope that someone that actually valued equality and fairness would support an issue like same sex marriage even if they hated gay people. Althouse said similar things a few weeks ago when discussing the bloggers meeting at the White House. She had said that rights don't depend on whether you like the people that receive them. I believe the same should be true for any policy decisions being made by liberals or conservatives.

traditionalguy said...

@ Tim Maguire. I enjoyed that analysis. You sound like me 10 years ago. But lately I have found myself thinking along third option, which is that we all owe our next breath to a beneficient God, and therefore showing practical mercy to others overrides ideology. We need to see beyond financial security issues, not that there really is much financial security available these days.

PatCA said...

So, if the left was in charge for so many years--the smart people--why isn't Wisconsin a prosperous socialist paradise?

They had their chance, and they blew it. A high speed train is just the symptom, not the disease.

Quayle said...

Antony, you're missing or misstating the issue when you say "I would hope that someone that actually valued equality and fairness would support an issue like same sex marriage even if they hated gay people."

Either that or you're demonstrating the very ignorant presumptive thinking I was decrying.

To most liberals, to oppose the broad social policy of gay marriage is, ipso facto, to hate a gay person.

That's bunk.

Clyde said...

Because liberals believe themselves to be smart, well-intentioned, good people because of their political beliefs, then it stands to reason that anyone who disagrees with them would have to be stupid, bad-intentioned or evil, or all of the above. Most of them cannot comprehend the concept of legitimate policy differences, which is too complicated. Far easier to demonize those one disagrees with. It should be noted that other groups are sometimes guilty of this as well, but not as frequently as among liberals, at least from my own personal observation.

Don said...

The good professor's post should be memorialized in stone. We need a monument to open mindedness. And if a blogger's words have not yet been so inscribed, it would be fitting for Althouse to the first.

Trooper York said...

Now I know there is a Dane County and I know there is a Cook County but is there a Dane Cook County?

friscoda said...

Bob Ellison,
Most conservatives and libertarians of my acquaintance believe that many liberals want to make things better and are unwilling to admit that they are "taking away" liberty with their proposals. There are other liberals -not small in number - who do think that they know best and that liberty is not paramount. I am not sure whether those in the second category are fools or not. After all, proposing to reduce liberty to make things better has a bad track record.
I have tried to understand but cannot grasp how this second group of liberals can be so blind (or foolish). Unfortunately, the so-called elite liberals are mostly in this second class. (just FYI, I work with mostly double Ivy grads in NYC.)

JAY said...

rights don't depend on whether you like the people that receive them.

People don't receive
rights.

The fact that the modern progressive left believes they do, is part of the problem.

Government doesn't confer "rights" and it is not a spoils system.

However, the people you vote for have turned it into that.

It hasn't turned out so well.

I don't believe most liberals have contempt for their fellow Americans.

Well, the most heavily trafficked Internet sites that cater to the left - HuffPo, DU, Daily Kos - indicate they do.

Clearly they do.

rhhardin said...

If everybody stands on their toes, everybody can see better.

That's why there are all those lefty toe-standing programs.

The fallacy of composition does not exist for the left.

Trooper York said...

What's the matter with Kansas?

Synova said...

Wanting to help people you have contempt for is *proof* of virtue. It can't be altruism otherwise.

People who want to help people they like or have an attachment to are behaving selfishly. Particularly if the people you want to help are close to you such as parents or children.

That is why government is necessary to virtue. Without that buffer between the good you do and the people who receive it your virtue is always suspect.

BTW, Ayn Rand included this thesis in Atlas Shrugged, which I skimmed (OMG that woman is long winded) and when I read the statement that people who helped people they loved weren't being "good" but were being bad people I scoffed. It was *so* ridiculous that how could she smear her opponents that way? Who would believe it?

Since then, however, I've heard exactly that sentiment expressed seriously and I'm always shocked, but not surprised anymore and I don't doubt that people really think that way. (Once it was even Althouse, though she wasn't making the argument but was simply suggesting the question - I think it may be another case of what sort of things commonly said and commonly heard in the academic environment.)

Trooper York said...

They haven't put out an album in years.

Ironclad said...

Thick as a Brick. Jethro Tull said it all in that no one understands because they are all dumb as rocks.

I never understood how people cannot get over the Kum-ba-yah phase and realize that other cultures do have different logic patterns in their reasoning. A=B means B=A may be true in math, but it does not follow with people. And don't get me started about the fringe ones.

garage mahal said...

Super-geniuses garage mahal and MUL/Ritmo/Big Govt Trickle Down guy also came to the same conclusion here. Surely indicative of something.\

C'mon you guys won, it's time to man up. This is getting embarrassing. Or did you need a support group to help you cope with winning?

Fernandinande said...

political science professor Charles Franklin

How about this: anyone who majors in political "science" is a dweeb and probably not very bright; square that for anyone who professes it.

Anthony said...

Quayle said: "To most liberals, to oppose the broad social policy of gay marriage is, ipso facto, to hate a gay person."

For the sake of full disclosure, as I said, I'm a liberal, and I'm also a gay person.

I certainly don't think that everyone that opposes same-sex marriage hates gay people. President Obama opposes gay marriage and I don't think he hates gay people. Many of my parents friends (I'm 25) oppose gay marriage and I don't think they hate me, and they don't hate my parents for supporting gay marriage and vice versa. I honestly don't think the world is as polarized as everyone makes it out to be.

Here is the quote from Althouse that I was referring to, and with which I agree: "Your position on the rights of others should not depend on whether they are your friends. That's not the way law works. People have rights whether you care about them or not. And rights don't spring into existence because you care about the people who want them."

That is the point I was trying to emphasize

William said...

They only use "they're dumb" part of the time. When confronted with a conservative of obvious intelligence and poise such as Lynne Cheney or Eric Cantor, they fall back on the "they're diabolically evil" explanation....Oprah has an enormous amount of influence on her followers, but only fans of Glen Beck and Limbaugh are described as being manipulated.

Denver said...

It is interesting that Ann chooses to live in Madison and partake in all of its great public amenities like bike trails, near by nature preserves and arts facilities. She also seems to like the business climate in Madison where small businesses continue to open and thrive when other more conservative areas are experiencing a sharp economic decline.

Ann seems to like to bitch about the great community she draws pleasure from. Many people in Madison pitch in and do volunteer work to make Madison great. Does Ann and Meade ever give back or do they just expect government to pay for their bike trails that they then turn around and condemn? Ann and Meade get off your lazy free loading asses and go help design and raise contributions for some new park benches at your neighborhood park!

It does seem that the most successful communities and states in this country tend to be blue. I would also bet if you did a study showing the biggest decline in property values over the past five years it would be red areas like Waukesha County that have been hurt most while blue ares like Madison have seen very little decline in value. But that is just the market talking. Never mind.

Anthony said...

Jay,

I didn't intend to say that people "receive" rights. I was speaking about benefits earlier in my comment, and the language of "receiving a benefit" carried over into what i said about rights.

MadisonMan said...

I think the problem for some liberals, such as Lueders, I suppose, is that they cannot countenance that their point of view might be out of the mainstream. Their view is the Correct View, and if voters don't support it, it's not that their view is wrong, it's the voters are too stupid to realize what they are voting for.

It was embarrassing to read that in a local paper.

Trooper York said...

I would love to have some of whatever Denver is smoking but I bet it is illegal.

Even in California.

Synova said...

"For conservatives, it means (among other things) throwing out the "they want government control over everything" assumption and believing that compassion for fellow humans really is the driving force behind liberalism."

I think that I disagree, Bob, that conservatives don't *mostly* understand that liberals are trying to show how much they care and trying to be good people and that most of them genuinely want to be good people by caring and helping others.

Government seldom if ever is effective at doing that, however. And few people seem to be motivated to actually test to see if what they've done or advocated actually helped anyone. The good results are simply assumed based on good intentions and if the problem isn't solved whatever was done just needs to be done *more* or *harder*.

The willingness to give up liberty for safety (physical or material) is nothing new. Neither is the truth that someone who gives up liberty for safety gets neither of them.

Titus said...

You need to move. How can you live in a place like that?

George said...

" For example, I would hope that someone that actually valued equality and fairness would support an issue like same sex marriage even if they hated gay people."

Well, now, let's just examine this statement as a prime example of liberal-think. The implication is: if they don't support same sex marriage, then they must either hate gay people or not value equality and fairness.

I don't suppose it ever occurs to liberals then that my opposition to same-sex marriage has nothing to do with hating gay people (I don't) or not valuing equality and fairness (I do). There is in fact another possibility, namely, that I believe gay people should be free to live whatever lifestyle they want to live but that society has no obligation to also proactively endorse their lifestyle and to confer certain benefits to perpetuate that lifestyle.

So why does that qualify me as a "hater"?

Trooper York said...

I mean seriously. Of course the professor is lazy. She's a professor for crying out loud. They don't work. That's why they are professors.

Sharpen up.

Trooper York said...

And leave Meade alone. He has it tough enough keeping her occupied so she isn't out on the streets stalking men in shorts.

Do you think he really likes to go to the farmers market to squeeze fruits everyday?

I have to say I have a lot of respect for the guy.

Synova said...

It's not surprising that areas heavily dependent on government employment are doing better than areas that are not so dependent. Isn't that where we're told most of the spendulous was spent? Paying government salaries?

Robert Cook said...

"...many conservatives were liberal in their youth, whereas very few liberals were ever conservative."

I'm one of those few, if few we are.

I was raised in a Republican family--all of whom remain Republican--and I registered as a Republican when I came of age. I voted for Jerry Ford against Carter in the first election in which I could vote, and I voted for Reagan in 1980.

Then, I started to experience more of the world and saw that it did not fit with the picture of it that had been presented to me by my family and via conservative dogma.

Once I left the family home this shifting of my perspective--as I viewed the events of the world unmoored from the the frame of reference within which I had been reared--accelerated. Before Reagan's run for reelection I had switched parties and moved away from my previous views.

As the decades have passed, I am only more convinced that my previous beliefs were unfounded, based on received (and often untrue) ideas about the world, and that the reality of the world all the more warrants my shift leftward.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

What is liberal about this attitude toward other people? You wallow in self-love, and what is it you love yourself for? For wanting to shower benefits on people... that you have nothing but contempt for.

I have no problem with progressives finding ways to block conservatives from benefiting. That's what cons do to the left, in any event. At some point, the left should find a way to introduce bills that prevent SSI and Medicare benefits from accruing to conservative demographics. Not that they'd state it openly, but do it underhandedly, the way the right's been doing for so long. And anyway, since this would result in cuts in government expenditures and "increased" self-reliance, the cons should be all for it.

Good job foregoing the opportunity to refudiate the assertions regarding comparative education levels, BTW. I can see why you'd prefer not to have that fight.

JAY said...

It does seem that the most successful communities and states in this country tend to be blue.

California has an $18 billion dollar budget deficit.

Texas does not.

New York has a $9.2 billion deficit.

Virginia does not.

The populations of California and New York are declining.

Your post is an example of liberal group think fallacy.

Lawgiver said...

C'mon you guys won, it's time to man up.

Nobody won. Check out your US representatives' disclosure statements. Those are some rich elites on both sides of the isle. Republicans won some seats, and it will be better but I think the system works best with a divided Congress. Republicans had their chance under Bush and they blew it. The Dems had their chance with Obama and they blew it. Now the people will still get screwed, but it will be a slower, gentler screwing. Both parties suck and there's not much we can do about it.

Trooper York said...

Oh crap. Here comes the choo-choo train argument again. You can just see it coming down the tracks.

Trooper York said...

I want to buy my nephew a Lionel train set for Christmas but I think they all burned up in Neil Youngs garage.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

As the decades have passed, I am only more convinced that my previous beliefs were unfounded, based on received (and often untrue) ideas about the world, and that the reality of the world all the more warrants my shift leftward.

Conservatives worship tradition at the expense of trying to find time-insensitive, universally transcendent truths.

I'm not sure that no such truths exist, but some people sure bullshit their way through a lot of make-believe and mythology in trying to come up with the kind of easy to sell narratives that fit those "truths".

My dad's family was Republican but not the socially conservative kind. Social conservatism is an ill advised attempt to shoehorn an inherently mobile, restless and active country into norms that fit places that value communities more than they do individuals, and cooperation more than self-reliance. The attempt to paper over that gaping inconsistency forms the central lie of American conservatism.

Anthony said...

George,

If you read all of my comments you'll see I've made it clear that I don't believe opposition to gay marriage means someone hates gay people. You're projecting on me, and it's unfair, speaking of fairness.

I do believe that same-sex marriage is a matter of equal treatment and fairness. I'm not sure how it can be considered fair and equal treatment for the government to be obligated to "proactively support" a heterosexual "lifestyle" but not a gay lifestyle without a justifiable reason for denying the same treatment to gays and lesbians. You could argue that you don't have to treat some people fairly and equally, but I want a reason why. I've never been convinced by the reasons I've been given, most of which are rooted in religious opposition, which the government should have no business using as a legitimate reason.

Meade said...

"[How could people] vote the way they did?"

"They're pretty damn stupid."

"Thank you, [UW-Madison political science professor Charles Franklin]," I responded. "That's the answer I was looking for."


I've been told by smart educated people - people like professional journalists and political science professors - that that sort of thinking is called logical fallacy or, in Latin, "circulus in probando."

But back on the farm, where some of us come from long lines of undereducated problem-solvers, we use less educated language. We'd probably just say it something like, "That pointy-headed professional journalist sure does hem and haw, back and fill, beat around the bush, dance around his own questions, fudge and mudge, and shilly shally."

It only leads us to the conclusion that the professor/journalist thinks his own B.O. don't stink none and therefore we might oughta be extra skeptical about the slick feller he's telling us we'd be smart to vote for.

former law student said...

How to cut the budget:

No more early retirement for state employees.

Raise the normal retirement age to 70.

Replace defined benefit plan with 401K type plan.

Cut professors' salaries to match competition (e.g. Marquette), then reduce it by COL factor (Milwaukee vs. say, Eau Claire).

Employees should pay more for any dependent benefits, at least for those over 18.

Beth said...

But how would it feel to be intelligent, informed, and well-meaning and to think what conservatives think? Isn't that the right way for an intelligent, informed, and well-meaning person to understand other people?

A good and fair question. And liberal candidates are going to keep getting smacked so long as that's the fallback analysis.

But substitute "what liberals think" and I see no especially different outcome either. They're stupid, or they're evil, or they're emotional and afraid.

I live in a red state, so I'm used to hearing the other perspective, where "liberal" is used as a common pejorative; it suffices on its own, no other argument necessary.

Our politics are shallow.

Trooper York said...

Hey I am for anything that cuts teachers salaries. They get paid to much as it is.

Lucien said...

I thought "The Triumph of Stupidity" was reserved for stories about the TSA.

This mornig's word verification for me is "molits". Is that a ghettoized version of Goethe's last words?

my15minutes said...

You are brilliant on this one.

Trooper York said...

Chris Christie showed the way. Smacking around teachers is the way to go. People are tired of their bullshit. Really the teachers union bullshit.

They think they are Mr. Chips but they are really Jimmy Hoffa.

JAY said...

that the most successful communities and states in this country tend to be blue.

Like Detroit?

Trooper York said...

That's not fair man. Detroit is one of the foremost leaders in "going green."

Didn't they turn most of their downtown into farms?

Trooper York said...

Plus Christopher from the Soprano's moved there so it must be really up and coming.

JAY said...

the left should find a way to introduce bills that prevent SSI and Medicare benefits from accruing to conservative demographics. Not that they'd state it openly, but do it underhandedly, the way the right's been doing for so long.

You can't provide a singular example of the right cutting anything for the left.

You are clearly insane.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

God Bless Henry Ford, that icon of American innovation!

I think it was Detroit's public transportation boondoggle that led to its decline, personally.

Denver said...

Obviously Meade has a lot of time on his hands. He also claims to be a conservative. Does Meade volunteer any of his ample free time to make Madison a better place? Is he happy to see taxes pay for our great amenities? Or is Meade just happy to let other people do the heavy lifting so he and Ann can enjoy living here?

I smell a hypocrite.

bagoh20 said...

" the left should find a way to introduce bills that prevent SSI and Medicare benefits from accruing to conservative demographics."

We got a deal, if only those in favor of increasing government pay the taxes. You know, like the opposite of how it is today.

garage mahal said...

California has an $18 billion dollar budget deficit.

Texas does not.


It took me 5 seconds to google this:

It’s come to this: The Texas budget outlook has become so bleak that we’re comparing rather favorably to the one state where balanced budgeting goes to die.

People, our budget deficit is now as bad as California’s.

Yes, the over-spending, over-regulated capital of hippiedom now has a state fiscal outlook on par with the Lone Star State.
.

JAY said...

Smacking around teachers is the way to go. People are tired of their bullshit. Really the teachers union bullshit.

I hope so.

Right on cue:

“American Federation of Teachers president Rhonda ‘Randi’ Weingarten has issued a statement slamming proposed cuts from the congressional deficit commission for not pushing shared sacrifice among the wealthy, but an AFT spokesman has told The Examiner that Weingarten will not be taking a paycut from the total $428,284 she received in salary and benefits during fiscal year 2010.”


Her gross salary is $342,552

I'm sure she's worth it.
*snicker*

Synova said...

Heh, Denver is smelling herself.

bagoh20 said...

"Does Meade volunteer any of his ample free time to make Madison a better place?"

I know at least one person who thinks he does.

Trooper York said...

Hey just because Meade does all that arty stuff doesn't mean he enjoy's. He would much rather be eating a hot dog and watching the Reds lose another game than walking though the park taking pictures of dogs urinating.

You have to put up with a lot of stuff to get laid. Just sayn'

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Meade's ability to get laid is subsidized by the state that pays his wife enough to have the time to go on endless hiking trips through state parks with fisheye lens cameras.

Where is the outrage?

Robert Cook said...

"Hey I am for anything that cuts teachers salaries. They get paid to(sic) much as it is."

My brother--a conservative--was a high school teacher in Florida for 14 years. When he left teaching, he was making only $30,100.00 a year. (This was in his final year; the previous year, his 13th year, he made only $28,200.00.)

I don't know what the norm is nationwide, but this is hardly "too much" pay.

(My brother is one of those conservatives who fails to draw connections between his own real life experiences and political realities...that's why he's still a conservative!)

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

That last post was satire, BTW. Well, kinda.

Limbaughian satire.

bagoh20 said...

"It took me 5 seconds to google this:"?

And you deceptively edited off this part:

"even though Texas’ budget deficit is very similar to California’s, the Lone Star State is still in a better fiscal position. Texas has better credit ratings and nearly $9 billion banked in the Rainy Day Fund. We also haven’t yet sliced our budget by about a quarter, as California did last year. (And California is losing $52 million a day because state leaders missed their deadline to pass a budget and still can’t agree.)"

Not to mention that Texas has been adding jobs and population while they are running from the blue California with one of the main destinations being red Texas.

Synova said...

Interesting the sort of hate involved in the idea that a conservative might enjoy elite sorts of pursuits such as enjoying nature instead of raping her, conservation (oh my, what's the root of that word?) and taking care of the Earth. Good food and fine wine and intelligent music...

How many heads would pop if Meade goes to a Library?

"Those people" don't do stuff like that. They are ignorant hicks and ought to know their place. All those taxes paid for parks and libraries are supposed to benefit liberals and progressives, dammit!

JAY said...

It took me 5 seconds to google this:

And then what?

Your own link says this:
Texas: $18 billion shortfall (estimated)

You do understand that Texas is projected to have $8.2 billion in its Economic Stabilization Fund by Aug. 31, 2011, right?

Keep beclowning.

dreams said...

And they think they are more open minded than conservatives.

Trooper York said...

Robert tell him to move to New York City ao he can clean up. There he could make a lot more and molest a couple of kids and go to the "rubber room" for years and get paid for doing jsck-shit.

Plus he only worked half a year. If he got another job for the rest of the year at the same "low" rate he would be making $60,000 a year. That's not garage mahal six figures but it is nothing to sneeze at.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Not to mention that Texas has been adding jobs and population while they are running from the blue California with one of the main destinations being red Texas.

Good. Maybe they'll give the place some class, and blue coloration.

Or maybe they're the type to be attracted to life in Texas for its own sake, in which case I conclude the opposite.

JAY said...

California is losing $52 million a day because state leaders missed their deadline

That's funny.

Lawgiver said...

Speaking of farms and stupidity; those stoopid giants sure got schooled by the farmboys from Dallas didn't they? The stoopid drunks from the big Easy will be in town for their ass whooping on thanksgiving.

Of course the Cowboys suck this year, but still, I'm just sayin...

Beth said...

Jay, Texas is looking at a budget deficit of somewhere between 11 and 18 billion for the coming two years.

bagoh20 said...

The average teacher salary is about 60K for 9 months which equals 80K annualized. This does not include incredibly generous benefits, that virtually no private industry jobs match. They are hardly underpaid. In my community, drop out rates are around 50%.

I don't know any private company that could fail 50% of the time delivering it's primary product and continue to pay it's employees anything at all. It's called failure and it's not supposed to be lucrative.

Lawgiver said...

Good. Maybe they'll give the place some class, and blue coloration.

If class is what California has, I hope we don't get any. People are moving here in droves and I wish they wouldn't. Please, stay in California. Come visit and spend your money but please go home.

garage mahal said...

Jay, Texas is looking at a budget deficit of somewhere between 11 and 18 billion for the coming two years.

This type of information just cannot be true to people like Jay. Conservatism can never fail, only we can fail conservatism. There must be some other explanation for this!.

JAY said...

Texas is looking at a budget deficit of somewhere between 11 and 18 billion for the coming two years.

They will cut the budget.

California will not.

And, that is nowhere near California's 18 billion + yearly.

JAY said...

Maybe they'll give the place some class,

Yeah, like the New Yorkers who spit on, and dumped beer on, the wife of Cliff Lee during the ALCS.

Your posts are parody.

Lawgiver said...

Texas is looking at a budget deficit of somewhere between 11 and 18 billion for the coming two years.

That's right....it sucks here...don't come.....move to Louisiana instead. Please.

JAY said...

Maybe they'll give the place some class,

That's funny.

Californian's are some of the shallowest people in the world.

But liberals are so cool, cultured, and educated to you!

What are you, 16?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

bagoh20 said...

"It took me 5 seconds to google this:"?

And you deceptively edited off this part:


Quotes out of context are garage's favorite trick. He will now respond to your skewering him by calling you a good drone and running away from the thread. He hasn't got anything else

Robert Cook said...

Trooper York said, regarding my brother, a former high school teacher:

"...he only worked half a year."

He worked nine months of the year, and in those nine months he worked more than just 8 hours a day. In addition to the time in the classroom, he had to meet with students, conduct after school help sessions, prepare lesson plans, grade homework and tests and papers, etc. etc.

He did have to work summers to make ends meet; he became a lawn man, and he made so much money doing that he left teaching to do it full time! (My father had been a restaurant manager and my mother worked with him hiring and scheduling the wait staff; she hired a number of teachers who had to work as waiters/waitresses to supplement their pay from teaching.)

The view that our teachers are paid too much indicates to me that we don't value teaching as a profession or a process, and even that we view those charged with educating our children with hidden contempt, that they don't deserve to be well paid or that they're somehow losers for not working in more "respectable" or remunerative jobs.

c3 said...

Conservatives worship tradition at the expense of trying to find time-insensitive, universally transcendent truths.

Well then we should put together a bipartisan Presidential commision. From that we can figure what are the best government programs to enact those universal truths. It may even require a Department of Universal Truths and a cabinet level position.

What do the Europeans say on this matter? They always do these sort of things better than we do.

bagoh20 said...

California has cut it's budget, because it had no choice and it's with those cuts that it is still so far in deficit. Texas will have no problem getting out of it's deficit, because it a function of the general economy, and they are much more better fiscally.

California was in deficit when the economy was great. It will not fix itself. It will go bankrupt, and ask the rest of you, including Texas to bail it out.

former law student said...

California didn't want dilettantes to govern it or represent it in the Senate. Just because conservatives think that becoming CEO qualifies one to do anything doesnt make it true.

And Synova is qute right that a large base of government employees stabilizes the economy. NoVa's base of government employees and contractors perhaps accounts for Virginia's financial stability.

mesquito said...

I was borned in Connecticut. Now I live in Texas. And I got me some class.

Ralph L said...

You can't provide a singular example of the right cutting anything for the left
Well, we've talked about cutting funding for NPR and the NEA and PBS. Hasn't happened, of course.

FLS, did you support Bush's SS reform?

Robert Cook voted for Reagan!
Sneek that onto his tombstone.

Robert Cook said...

"The average teacher salary is about 60K for 9 months which equals 80K annualized. This does not include incredibly generous benefits, that virtually no private industry jobs match. They are hardly underpaid."

What does that mean, "if annualized?" You mean, if they worked 12 months? But they don't, and given all extra hours they work outside class time, (as I mentioned in my previous post), one could also say they're actually making less the average you cite of $60K.

What are the "incredibly generous benefits" you speak of? I don't doubt some school districts may offer teachers good benefits, but my brother didn't experience them.

Again, I don't know what the norm is nationwide, but I hardly think our public school teachers are awash in excess discretionary income.

Trooper York said...

Robert...those that can't do...teach.

Just sayn'

Michael said...

It is no accident that people who vote leftist and who are convinced that those who disagree with them are stupid, are also the greatest consumers of alternative medicine, often oppose vaccination and have the greatest interest in magical phenomena like crystal healing. They live by magical thinking. If the result is good, the process must work. Those who understand that results are not always predictable and that people with good intentions often screw up, tend to be conservative.

garage mahal said...

Quotes out of context are garage's favorite trick.

I linked directly to the context! Apparently it's deceptive to point out someone is wrong.

There must be some other explanation for this!

former law student said...

Cookie, in my experience, any traditionally female occupation is way underpaid south of the Mason-Dixon.

JAY said...

What are the "incredibly generous benefits" you speak of?

Well, in NJ here is how it works:
Zero towards their health insurance benefits. Family health insurance benefits that run anywhere from $18,000 to $24,000 a year that the taxpayers pay for that teacher and their family from the day they're hired until the day they die - fully paid medical benefits.

That is beyond generous, it is stupid.

Ralph L said...

prevent SSI and Medicare benefits from accruing to conservative demographics
SSI is the benefit for dim people. We're not getting it now, so don't worry about it.

John said...

this guy is a dick, but almost all of the conservative commenters on this blog and many others are just as closed-minded and unwilling to even try to understand much less acknowledge that a different perspective may be rational or possible.

what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

bagoh20 said...

Cook,

Since you are using your brother anecdotally, let me compare with someone I know personally.

She is skilled, about equal to a teacher, works in a private compnay at about $60k salary. When the economy tanked, her company cut back on people and her 40 hour/week job was redefined to require 55 hours/ week, 12 months a year. No increase in pay. She gets no retirement, no sick pay, only 6 paid holidays, and pays half of her health insurance. Many of her fellow workers simply have no jobs at all now.

Here in L.A. despite the shrinking student enrollment, education spending, hiring and benefits have continued to rise dramatically.

Maybe your brother got a raw deal, or maybe he's just subject to the same as the average taxpayer. He doesn't appear to be similar to the average teacher, at least not around me.

Alex said...

s. The recent pew research poll confirms that. It found that only 46% of the public knew that the GOP won the House and but not the Senate in the most recent election.

Just goes to show that outside the relatively small bubble of political junkies, nobody else knows what the fuck is going on past their nose.

Alex said...

One would have to be mentally ill to become a leftist. There is just nothing in that ideology that make sense or is backed up by reality. It's all tautology.

Alex said...

California didn't want dilettantes to govern it or represent it in the Senate.

What would you call Barbara Boxer? She is the epitome of the insane, stupid left.

former law student said...

It is no accident that people who vote leftist and who are convincedthat those who disagree with them are stupid, are also the greatest consumers of alternative medicine, often oppose vaccination and have the greatest interest in magical phenomena like crystal healing.

It is no accident that conservative radio talk shows a decade ago were sponsored by makers of quack baldness cures, "male enhancement" products, and Focus Factor, as well as colloidal silver. Implying that the typical listener was a balding forgetful limpdick. Fundamentalists were urged to buy "royal jelly" and other bee products.

Drew said...

You know how this goes:

If the proles vote for liberals, they are decent, salt-of-the-earth types. Like Rockwell's "Freedom of Speech" painting. The rural farmer, standing up among the suit-and-tie crowd, letting his voice be heard.

But if the proles vote for conservatives, they are god-n-gun-clinging rednecks who drive over plantations of arugula on their four-wheelers, shoot at anything that moves, and form separatist militias.

dorkismo said...

Doesn't it occur to you that this post and most of the comments display the same baseless smugness and conceit the author is complaining about?

I'm a liberal and I will freely admit that a few liberals exhibit that kind of conceit. I don't approve of that no matter where it comes from.

Left or right, intelligent people can only have respect for those who are willing to consider the facts and reasoning by which others have arrived at their conclusions. In the absence of facts or credible reasoning, respect vanishes. Legitimately so.

bagoh20 said...

"It is no accident that conservative radio talk shows a decade ago were sponsored by makers of quack baldness cures, "

This demonstrates that conservatives at least attempt to improve themselves, but they thankfully limit their quack cures to personal appearance, where as the left actually falls for quack cures to domestic and foreign policy ailments.

And yes, Obama actually is a Keynesian. It's like a policy version of royal jelly.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

garage mahal said...

Quotes out of context are garage's favorite trick.

I linked directly to the context! Apparently it's deceptive to point out someone is wrong.


,,and bagoh20 clearly pointed out that you are wrong. Am I supposed to credit you for providing a link that proves you're are a liar? You're still a liar.

Alex said...

Doesn't it occur to you that this post and most of the comments display the same baseless smugness and conceit the author is complaining about?

Watch MSNBC, read The Huffington Post, Atrios, Daily Kos, NY Times editorial board, 95% of humanities professors, etc... They demonize conservatives on a daily basis with no opposition.

bagoh20 said...

'Doesn't it occur to you that this post and most of the comments display the same baseless smugness and conceit the author is complaining about?"

Seems appropriate when someone starts out by calling you stupid because they don't like your vote.

garage mahal said...

,,and bagoh20 clearly pointed out that you are wrong. Am I supposed to credit you for providing a link that proves you're are a liar? You're still a liar

Here is what Jay posted:
"California has an $18 billion dollar budget deficit.
Texas does not."

Here is what I linked to:

"Texas: $18 billion shortfall (estimated) or about 20 percent of state spending."

In a sane world that would be the end of it. But we do not live in that world. It's like conservatives live in an alternate bubble universe, and no facts or figures can puncture it.

dorkismo said...

@Alex like I said. Vague, unsupported accusations like yours serve no purpose. Facts please. Show the reasoning by which you reach a credible conclusion, whether you are a liberal or a conservative.

Alex said...

Vague, unsupported accusations like yours serve no purpose. Facts please.

I pointed you to the sources of daily demonization. If you can't be bothered to check them out for 6 months to see that I'm correct, you're just another biased libtard. One who engages in demonization against conservatives.

Alex said...

Another example of the daily demonization of conservatives:

Former ABC reporter mocks Sarah Palin

This happens every from a 1000 different directions.

Alex said...

Another psycho leftist:

Katie Kouric decries big government debt, slams GOP for not spending more

Did she forget to take her mood adjusters?

Alex said...

Another psycho leftist demonizes conservatives

Olbermann tells conservatives to go live in another country

Jim_J said...

Like Detroit?

You don't even need to go that far....just take a look at Milwaukee:

Milwaukee now fourth poorest city in nation

Milwaukee emerged as America's fourth-most impoverished big city in 2009, as the Great Recession rippled across the city and state, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures released Tuesday.

Milwaukee's poverty rate reached 27%, up from 23.4% in the previous year. Only Detroit (36.4%), Cleveland (35%) and Buffalo (28.8%) had higher poverty rates among cities with populations greater than 250,000. Milwaukee was ranked 11th in 2008.

An estimated 158,245 Milwaukeeans lived in poverty last year. For a family of four with two adults and two children, the poverty threshold was an annual income of $21,954.

What's more, nearly 4 in 10 children in Milwaukee were considered poor, meaning an estimated 62,432 children lived in poverty last year, up from 49,952 in 2008.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, a Democrat who is running for governor, said the poverty numbers "are unacceptable and should be of concern to everyone in the community and the state."

"They obviously are in part a result of the global economic downturn which has disproportionately affected lower incomes," he said. "But it has also sent lower middle-class people into poverty as well. It explains why we're looking so aggressive to create more jobs, tackle the issues of education, workforce development and transportation."

JAY said...

t's like conservatives live in an alternate bubble universe, and no facts or figures can puncture it.

Hysterical.

Um, California has a yearly deficit of $18 billion.

Texas does not.

That is a fact.

The link you provided talks about an estimate which is regarding a 2-year budget cycle.

You prove yourself and idiot for continuing to assert you proved something.

Synova said...

I'm certain that the salary for school teachers where I grew up is about what Cook says his brother got in Florida. I don't think it's anything about "south of the Mason Dixon" but about urban or rural. Schools are still the biggest single employer in the community but no one makes very much money, not like here where the school district is the 5th largest in the nation (IIRC) and the top salaries are well upward from 100K. Classroom teachers still may not make a fortune but this isn't a rich state.

The drop out rate and test scores are crap even though schools have huge sports stadiums and olympic swimming pools and neat-o technical interactive computer thingies with remote controls for each student in a classroom. (My reaction was... "Excuse me? You spent money on that?")

But even back in my home school district, small and poor and rural, people were all about passing bonds and property taxes on farmers who were barely making it (and certainly outnumbered, vote-wise) to build new gymnasiums, keep the sports teams going, and doing without an art teacher.

BUT you know? People are right about what they want. Even if I don't agree. The people up there in Minnesota are right that most everyone wanted more sports (even if they're not right about making other people pay for it) and the people/kids down here in New Mexico are absolutely rational while dropping out of school.

In any case where someone is tempted to moan that other people act contrary to their self-interest, the issue is actually not understanding what that self-interest is. Because people do not act contrary to their self-interest.

Someone decided what every school child and teenager must have and just assumed they were right about that. When 50% or even 10 or 20% drop out, then it's a good indication that someone was very wrong.

garage mahal said...

The link you provided talks about an estimate which is regarding a 2-year budget cycle.

LOL. The estimate came from his very own Republican colleagues House Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts and House Speaker Joe Straus. Who ought to know.

JAY said...

The estimate came from his very own Republican colleagues House Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts and House Speaker Joe Straus. Who ought to know.

And then what?

California has an $18 billion dollar deficit.

Texas does not.

You have no point.

Synova said...

And the solution isn't to question initial assumptions but to try to find a way to make people want what you think they ought to want.

JAY said...

this guy is a dick,

and so are you.

garage mahal said...

Jay, I suppose you could be right. Republicans in Texas could be lying about the deficit estimate.

John said...

hmm. what did i do to be classified as "a dick" myself?

i was criticizing the guy who was calling conservatives stupid without trying to even conceptualize a reason why they might feel the way they do and immediately chalking their views up to their stupidity, as well as similar behavior on the part of conservatives

i didn't realize this was a stalinist party congress, where the party line of the blog comment thread must be applauded at every turn

i apologize for my dissenting opinion :)

Harry said...

Blogger Meade said...It only leads us to the conclusion that the professor/journalist thinks his own B.O. don't stink none and therefore we might oughta be extra skeptical about the slick feller he's telling us we'd be smart to vote for.

That's B.H.O., not B.O.

former law student said...

Per this Texas Observer column, both Texas and California face a deficit of 20% of their budget, not an equal dollar amount.

http://www.texasobserver.org/
contrarian/texas-budget-mess-now-as-
bad-as-californias

JAY said...

I suppose you could be right. Republicans in Texas could be lying about the deficit estimate.

You do understand that Texas is projected to have $8.2 billion in its Economic Stabilization Fund by Aug. 31, 2011, right?


Um, you do understand the difference between 2 years and 1, right?

Because the estimates for Texas are 2 year estimates.

You can grasp that California's is annual, correct?

In other words, if we were making a comparison over the same budget cycle, California's debt would be $36 billion and the one for Texas would be $18 (at the high end).

These facts were repeated 5 times.

You can't grasp them.

JAY said...

So again,

California has a deficit of $18 billion.

Texas does not.

roesch-voltaire said...

Of course anyone who posts here would have seen multiple examples of conservatives calling libtards stupid, commie etc so the verbal over-sight goes both ways. The question, which will be answered in a few short years, is did the slim majority vote against their own interests? The swings in belief have been known to happen before.

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

"...Dane County, which bucked the trends on Election Day, is by far the most educated county in the state."

It is odd that someone pounding his chest about how smart he is describes his county as educated. We all know what he means, for sure. But it is ironic that while engaging in an exercise to demonstrate his intellectual superiority he describes an inanimate geographic land mass as educated.

Maybe he's not quite as smart as he thinks he is.

nobody said...

Anthony (11/20/10 10:56 AM),

Re: "only 16% of the public knows that more than half of the loans made under TARP have been paid back" (11/20/10 10:56 AM):

No, you mean that 16% of the public has been successfully duped into believing some of the most ridiculous propaganda currently out there about the contemporary issues that organize much public attention, emotion, and energies.

See:

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2010/10/quelle-surprise-team-obama-having-trouble-selling-tarp-success.html

To go deeper read the comments there and follow the relevant tags and links.

stevenehrbar said...

Yeah, the people are really stupid. Republicans ran the House of Representatives 1995-2006 and the economy was great. The voters put the Democrats in charge of the House in 2006, and four years later they economy is shit. The obvious answer is that the Republicans wrecked the economy and we need more Democratic control of the House.

MadisonMan said...

No more early retirement for state employees.

And no more retiring and then coming back to work in your same job.

Ralph L said...

multiple examples of conservatives calling libtards stupid
Or, at least, people posing as conservatives. And libtards are stupid by definition.

Trooper York said...

Somebody told a story the other day about going to a state office and one person is working and three people were sitting around bullshitting.

What you should do is go in at lunch time and fire everyone who isn't working. Simple.

John Stodder said...

If you short circuit that process and go right to the assumption that people who don't agree with you are stupid, how do you maintain the belief that you are, in fact, intelligent, informed, and well-meaning?

One of the most galling aspects of the way liberals look down on the intelligence of anyone who doesn't agree with them is, whenever a liberal has second thoughts about anything that now aligns them with what people to their right were saying all along, he/she brags about their shift as yet another example of their superior intelligence, but they never apologize to the conservatives who, it turns out, were always right.

The best example of this phenomenon is the question of dealing with the USSR. Every Cold Warrior in the 70s and 80s had to heard ourselves described as troglodytes, morons, and warmongers. But now? Try to find a liberal who doesn't claim either they were cold warriors all along, and that they weren't inspired by Solidarity and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Do these people ever go back and make amends for all the things they said when detente and accommodation were the only positions for an "intelligent" person? Welfare reform is another issue of this type. Coming soon -- questioning the wisdom of allowing public employees to organize into unions.

The point being, liberalism is always the most intelligent position in the argument, even when they make a 180.

John Stodder said...

Of course anyone who posts here would have seen multiple examples of conservatives calling libtards stupid, commie etc so the verbal over-sight goes both ways.

Maybe so, but I don't recall even conservative pundits calling the voters dumb in 2008. Same voters, folks.

It's about health care. Democratic whining about them getting the blame for "Bush's economy" is beside the point. It's quite possible that a lot of voters who switched to the Republicans in '10, accounted for that and forgave Obama for the lousy economy for that reason. But they couldn't forgive the process by which Obamacare got passed, or the result. And the news since it passed just takes them farther and farther away from Obama's promises about it.

Denver said...

Meade believes that private charity and volunteering should provide for the less fortunate. But Meade, who has ample time on his hands can't find the energy to set a good example.

If you want to see some people who are not hypocrites drive down Williamson Street which is the most liberal area of liberal Madison. There are at least a hade dozen organizations that serve the less fortunate. These soup kitchens and shelters survive on their neighbors giving their money and volunteering their time. Ann and Meade should walk down that street and see people who actually walk the talk. But I guess for Meade it is probably just easier to just talk about private giving than to actually step up given that he is riding sweet on the Wisconsin taxpayer's dime.

Darcy said...

Denver knows Ann and Meade! So well he understands precisely how they give back to the community.

And it's not enough, he judges. More of their money money must be take from them to compensate for their selfishness and for God's sake less leisure time, please, he clucks.

Darcy said...

And garage: Your first comment cracked me up.

"need hugs" lol

Just Lurking said...

"Well, turn it around. When conservatives wonder why liberals think the way they do, they (conservatives) tend to short-circuit the analysis and conclude that liberals are simply fools."

Not really. It's just that many of us have "been there, done that", when it comes to "liberal" ideas. We considered these ideas years ago, and eventually rejected them. Therefore, the fools are only the ones that we think are old enough to know better.

Trooper York said...

I don't know Darcy. Garage was kinda mean with the PMS remark. I think we should be past that. So to speak.

DaveW said...

So...what did Meade do to draw the ire of Denver? What did I miss?

Or is that a sock-puppet of the guy that always complains about Althouse' salary?

Trooper York said...

But then I am the last one who should be talking about someone making "mean" remarks.

So carry on.

Darcy said...

LOL, Trooper. Nah. It wasn't mean.

I did call 2008 voters stupid, by the way. We had awful choices, and I believe most were well-intentioned, but...well. Sorry. Electing Obama was stupid. And I'm not a Republican, but I don't mind being called stupid for voting straight Republican ticket here in the liberal-devastated state of Michigan. I'll take a big bowl of stupid, please.

Denver said...

My critique of Ann and Meade is no more harsh than hers of Bill Lueders.

Ann and Meade are a bunch of faux-conservative phonies living high off of the WI taxpayer dime.

Synova said...

Just doing your little part for justice and the American Way, hm?

Synova said...

That sort of fringes on creepy stalker behavior.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

Late to the game, sorry for any redundancy (ies).
This, the “Voters is ‘Stoopit’” or “Blame the Consumer” idea is not confined to the Left. I think the Left is more prone to it, being enamoured of:
1) The Leninist Vanguard Elite idea;
2) The Technocratic Elite managing society; and
3) The Credentialed Class running things
So it makes the Left/Liberals more susceptible to this kind of thinking. However, I’ve seen it on the Right, in the wake of the 1992, 1996, and 2008 Elections.

It’s difficult to accept that your side, lost to that “Guy.” YOU know that Guy is a, moron, cowboy, socialist, Kenyan (Hey Mick), how could everyone else NOT realize it? Then you blame the consumer for making a bad choice. It’s easier than thinking you’re guy was wrong, or a bad candidate, or had a weak campaign. The Right/Libertarian side, however, is more enamoured of individual choice and the “market of ideas” and so we tend to “snap out of it quicker” than the Left. If people don’t buy the Chevy Volt, we say, it’s not stupid consumers, it’s a stupid GM…so too, we must conclude, if the voters didn’t choose our guy, Bush ’41, Dole, or McCain, it becomes hard to simply blame the voters…we have to blame a stupid Bush, Dole, or McCain, just like we’d blame GM. It’s easier to blame the consumer when you think that 5-10% of the populace OUGHT to be guiding the other 90-95%.

And Denver, it’s rude, dood to come into someone’s house and then insult them….

garage mahal said...

Darcy said...
And garage: Your first comment cracked me up.

"need hugs" lol


[[hugs back]]

I don't know Darcy. Garage was kinda mean with the PMS remark. I think we should be past that. So to speak.

[[*strawberries*]]

JAY said...

And no more retiring and then coming back to work in your same job.

Or, no more retiring and coming back as a consultant.

This happens at federal agencies all the time.

Denver said...

Althouse has as the first two tags to this post "Bill Lueders" and "hypocrisy". Why is it unfair of me to point out Ann's and Meade's obvious hypocrisy?

PatCA said...

In Bobos in Paradise, David Brooks states that the bohemian contempt for the bourgeious has now been completely adopted, along with other bohemian ideas, into the elite culture. I think he's right. They hated us before the election, and they'll hate us after.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
Althouse has as the first two tags to this post "Bill Lueders" and "hypocrisy". Why is it unfair of me to point out Ann's and Meade's obvious hypocrisy?

Their “obvious hypocrisy”? I must have missed that obvious hypocrisy, tell me Denver do you know what Meade does with his free time? Get back to me when you can demonstrate Meade or Althouse spend their time clipping coupons, and eating bon-bons…also if you can get them to release their income taxes and then release yours, we’ll compare charitable deductions.

Meade said...

Denver said...
Obviously Meade has a lot of time on his hands. He also claims to be a conservative.

Denver, you need to raise your stalking game. I've never claimed to be a conservative. I like to think of myself as a conservative liberal.

Does Meade volunteer any of his ample free time to make Madison a better place?

Don't you know, Denver? You seem to think you do.

Is he happy to see taxes pay for our great amenities? Or is Meade just happy to let other people do the heavy lifting so he and Ann can enjoy living here?

I smell a hypocrite.

It's true I live really well. Better than I deserve.

So, besides paying all my taxes (In fact, in 2007 and 2008, it turned out I overpaid my taxes. But that's another story.), to give back, I help out a little here... and here... and I used to help out here.

But you're right, Denver, I should do more. After the holidays I plan to start helping out here.

So instead of stalking me, let me invite you to email me and, if you want, you and I could do some volunteer work together. I'm serious.

(@Synova, bagoh20, Trooper York, Big Gov't Trickling Down on You, Darcy, and Joe: Thanks for the friendly and humorous defenses.)

Synova said...

"My critique of Ann and Meade is no more harsh than hers of Bill Lueders."

Harsh isn't baseless.

Did Lueders not write what he was quoted as writing? Did Lueders lie about what Franklin said? The quote/paraphrase of an email was unattributed but said to be a personal experience. So in all, three examples were given of persons who answer their own questions about other people in the world who disagree with their political opinions with "they're just stupid."

Thus - basis.

Your personal attacks and criticisms were without basis. Very different.

You were just making shit up since you know nothing other than Althouse's occupation and that's not hypocrisy when no one is seriously claiming, and certainly Althouse is not claiming that Government funding of higher education is not legitimate.

What it all is, is irony.

Imagine that.

Althouse says that liberals in her city seem to blindly judge conservatives in a particular way and then you arrive to demonstrate.

How do you, Denver, maintain the belief that you are, in fact, intelligent, informed, and well-meaning? What do you do?

Synova said...

Ah, sorry. And I went all serious.

Pogo said...

Denver, tu quoque arguments are so damned boring. High school level pissing.

Denver said...

Criticism on Althouse gets you branded by the sycophants and the hostess as a "stalker". Free speech is one way, eh?

Bill Lueders has won many awards and accolades for his work fighting for underdogs. He has also been one of the biggest proponents of free speech in Wisconsin.

I can understand why an unserious person like Ann is jealous of him.

Denver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

Being right 50 times in a row, doesn't, in and of itself, mean that the fifty-FIRST time you're right...

This Leuders fellow could STILL be a hypocrite AND an advocate of free speech, Denver...

Are you his lover/son/sycopant? Being hypocritcal, at least in this instance, doesn't mean he is a total wash-out, you know. Criticism is a part of life, YOU might want to learn how to deal with it, when you or someone you love has been criticized.

Joe said...


Denver is such a creepy and stupid libtard! Why does he even bother posting here?


I don't know, because Althouse doesn't ban people? Because you are determined to "prove your case?" You're a glutton for punishment?

Your mtivations are YOURS, we only try to deal with what you say, not WHY you say it? Or persist in saying it.

Synova said...

The "stalker" part is because it sounds like you're personally offended, not because you're criticizing Althouse or anyone else.

Mississippi Truck Driving Man said...

It appears that Denver just outed himself as a conservative? sock puppet...

Paul Zrimsek said...

I smell a hypocrite.

He who smelt it dealt it.

nina said...

So, in response to Meade's comment: this is why I find it puzzling that I read so much here about liberals this and liberals that. Dose it include you, Meade? The conservative liberal? Of course not. Me? Probably more so. Even as, a few weeks back, I described myself to someone (who reads this blog, n.b.) as a "fiscally conservative liberal." Yet, I do believe Meade and I have voted 100% differently in the last several elections. (I would, for example, never say "I miss Bush").

Yet I read comments here about liberal tards this and self important big government paternalistic anti personal liberties that and I just don't get it. Where do you come up with all of this?


A P.S. -- Meade, we're thrilled that you'll join the Ice Age Trail volunteers. There is not a more beautiful path to hike in the entire Midwest than this one.
(I hope you are also a supporter of the newly proposed DNR rule NR 1.29 especially as it proposes to modify the NR 45.10 Dispersed camping provision. I know, I know -- government stuff! But imagine -- being able to put up a tent along the trail and watching the sun rise in the Wisconsin wilderness... Bliss... And it's not nearly as radical as that liberal? conservative? neither? Scotland, which, in 2003 passed a law that permitted anyone to pitch a tent anywhere overnight, so long as they were respectful of the privacy of the landowner. We took advantage of it a year ago -- free, free in the way that is beyond fantastic -- to experience the exquisite beauty of nature, along any footpath, any trail that appealed to us.)

Anyway, labels are divisive. They discourage conversation. Too few "liberals," conservative or otherwise, participate here. I keep reading comments, hoping to hear that back and forth, but I read mostly that liberals are turds and paternalistic and dumb and contemptuous and clueless and on and on and on. My friends will ask -- why do you read that stuff?

I don't have a good answer. It's like subjecting yourself to some pointless lashing, not because you think you did something wrong, but because you want to understand why your self professed enemies hate you so.

Sigh...

Alex said...

Anyway, labels are divisive. They discourage conversation. Too few "liberals," conservative or otherwise, participate here. I keep reading comments, hoping to hear that back and forth, but I read mostly that liberals are turds and paternalistic and dumb and contemptuous and clueless and on and on and on. My friends will ask -- why do you read that stuff?

You mean you and your lefty friends will all have a chuckle while you demonize the conservatives on Althouse. Nice, libtard.

Synova said...

I think that only very lately does Althouse seem to have come over to the conservative side of issues. I've always considered her a liberal at heart and (like many "conservatives") certainly a classical liberal.

But if there is something particularly right-wing about the culture here I think that it's probably got it's genesis in the expulsion of Prof Althouse from the liberal plantation for failing to think properly about the war.

Just my opinion from hanging around for longer than I really want to admit.

Alex said...

Oh make no mistake, Althouse is a flaming lefty. She just senses that Obama is a bit too Marxist for her tastes.

Mississippi Truck Driving Man said...

The condecention just drips off of Nina. She writes as if she is just smarter and more fair minded than us narrow minded hillbillies. We have heard it all before Nina. You are welcome to take your fake concern and shove it.

Maguro said...

Nina - How do you feel about someone pitching a tent in your backyard? You good with that?

Ann Althouse said...

"I keep reading comments, hoping to hear that back and forth..."

Comment, then. People are welcome to debate from all political sides.

Alex said...

nina came in here hoping it would be the same lefty crowd she's used to. But there is 1 conservative too many, so she high-tailed it.

former law student said...

nina perhaps doesn't realize that alex is a troll.

Mississippi Truck Driving Man said...

What a stupid bitch. She made me think of that stupid sign song with her bleating about wanting to camp in people's front yards. "Sign, sign, everywhere a sign!". God I hate that song.

Clyde said...

Nina, my observation is that the main difference between liberals and conservatives is their view on the proper role of government (at all levels - federal, state, local) in our lives. Liberals want more; conservatives want less.

Liberals believe that government is good, and that since many people are incapable of running their own lives, government should be large and intrusive in people's lives, "for their own good." They also believe that life is essentially unfair, that certain minority groups have been (and will ALWAYS BE) victimized, and that government's proper role is to take from the wealthy and give to the needy.

Conservatives are more suspicious of government, believing that it should be strictly limited to its constitutional roles. They oppose government intrusion in their lives, believing that they know better how they should pursue happiness than some far-away bureaucrat. They prefer that private enterprise do those things that do not legitimately fall under the proper role of government. They believe in supporting community organizations and private charity to help the needy rather than expanding government welfare programs.

This is not to say that liberals aren't charitable as well, although most studies show that conservatives give more generously.

nina said...

Ann:

I do not comment here (for the most part) because 90% of your commenters are on one side of the issue. Those who present a different position are ridiculed and slandered for their professed idea, even if it is offered without aggression or insult. It's not a place to go to for a back and forth. And that's okay. I understand the need to have a place where like minded people find solidarity and support. But it's not okay for those who may want to say something outside of the Althouse mainstream.

Alex said...

But it's not okay for those who may want to say something outside of the Althouse mainstream.

Translation - Althosue is not a left-wing hotbed.

Alex said...

nina has to be a left-winger. Because only a leftie would come to Althouse, scan the comments and conclude that 90% are all on the right-wing page. Basically nina's left-wing filter can't tell the differences between ultra-right wing and moderates. If it aint left-wing then it's ALL Reichwingers.

HDHouse said...

I was busy yesterday with a Christening so missed this little burp at the banquet of misinformation.

Liberals think others are stupid because they either do stupid things or believe stupid things without examination.

An amazing percentage of this country thinks Obama is 1. a communist 2. has a plan to convert the country to socialism 3. isn't an American.

These folks generally are NOT from the left side of the dial. They are the preyed up "stupid" who ahve been purposefully fed gibberish and swallowed it.

That's dumb and I don't mind tell them so.

Michael K Pate said...

As Glenn Beck and Jonah Goldberg and others have point out lately, modern day Liberals are nothing more than the spiritual descendants of Fabian Socialists and American Progressives. Those movements were founded on the idea that an enlightened elite had to care for the dregs of society (everyone who wasn't a member of their little clubs) and taking control of the government to further things like Eugenics were absolutely righteous. Their tactics may have changed slightly, the vocabulary has changed greatly, but their ultimate goals are still there.

JAFAC said...

All these comments - and they all seem to miss the bigger picture.

Liberal politicians base their election/re-election hopes on the turnout of 3 main groups. 18-25 year olds, African-Americans, and Latino-Americans. They don't go for all minorities - remember Rep. Sanchez and her video ranting against the Asian-American running for her seat.

Those 3 groups are typically the least educated and experienced groups in American Politics. The 18-25 year olds get their knowledge from Colbert/Stewart. [My liberal speech professor would say that the brain isn't wired correctly until at least 25 years of age.] The African- and Latino- Americans have significantly higher drop-out rates than 'White' Americans (who are significantly worse than Asian-Americans).

If liberalism is so great and smart - why is the turn-out of the uneducated and unwise so important for it to survive?

Fen said...

Of course anyone who posts here would have seen multiple examples of conservatives calling libtards stupid, commie etc so the verbal over-sight goes both ways

Not really. You need to understand the context. I frequently call our Lefty trolls here "libtards", but only as pushback for their frequent use of term "redneck" and "teabagger". It checks them. And separates them from the true lefties for which liberalism is not merely a brand or tribe.

Those liberals, the few here who present arguments in good faith, I respond to politely, regardless of how "stupid" I think their ideas are. Sometimes I even learn from them. Sometimes they even convince me to change my position (as with gay marriage).

I think you'll discover that is what draws conservative readership to Ann Althouse. Its not that she shares our beliefs, its that this is one of the few liberal venues where we can have an exchange with a liberal without her resorting to the same old "racist sexist homophobe!" tripe.

It also helps that Ann is a champion of free-speech. Most the liberal blogs I visit will delete you for making an argument they can't handle.

master cylinder said...

Nina, the game here is that all these conservatives gathered here -united by Ann, are nuanced and cruelly neutral-that's what they will tell you. Ann is not a conservative[!], play along wont you? I like to spar with the regs here, sometimes they are polite, sometimes they just rely on name calling to prove their points.
Somehow they believe that they are not conservative,
or Republican, but I routinely get called a libtard.
Never been called that by a Dem or a true Independent.

Fen said...

HDHouse: Liberals think others are stupid because they either do stupid things or believe stupid things without examination.

Like faith in AGW?

An amazing percentage of this country thinks Obama is 1. a socialist 2. has a plan to convert the country to socialism 3. doesn't share American values

/fixed

[libtard. for his typical and deliberate deception, hyperbole, exageration and distortion of any view that opposes his]

master cylinder said...

Fen, Balloon Juice will not delete your comments-try it sometime.

Fen said...

Master Cylinder: Nina, the game here is that all these conservatives gathered here -united by Ann, are nuanced and cruelly neutral-that's what they will tell you

Nina, that guy above is a Lefty Troll who perches here and flings poo. When he runs through his credibility, he'll start another sock-puppet and start out all over again.

Thats the MO of most the liberals here. And thats why people like him are called names and treated with contempt.

Fen said...

Nina: Too few "liberals," conservative or otherwise, participate here. I keep reading comments, hoping to hear that back and forth, but I read mostly that liberals are turds and paternalistic and dumb and contemptuous and clueless and on and on and on. My friends will ask -- why do you read that stuff?

That last is interesting. Do you realize that we have Lefty Trolls visiting just to spike the blog?

By spiking, I mean that honest liberals and conservatives here will be having a back-and-forth discussion about some issue that is an interesting read.

But the hard left can't have that -someone might stray from the commune. So someone from Pandagon or HuffPo, still nursing a grude over Amanda Marcotte, drives by and starts flinging poo and deliberately attempts to spike the conversation, turn it into a hate-fest that no one wants to read.

So I find you comments ironic. Yes, the labels are divisive. Yes, it disrupts any attempt at understanding the other side.

And Yes, its deliberately done by the people on your side of the aisle. We even have psots from them admitting (when they get too cocky).

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