December 13, 2011

Cruel neutrality.

That's my brand, here on the Althouse blog. And yet I see that some commenter named Richard wrote:
Ann, you'll vote for Obama anyway this cycle. I like your blog and all that, but it's your M.O. to criticize , then vote contrary to your criticisms.
Now, now. I don't like that. In 2008, I took a vow of cruel neutrality....
Who am I supporting in the presidential contest? You shouldn't know, because I don't know. In fact, I'm positioning myself in a delicate state of unknowing, a state I hope to maintain until October if not November. In the meantime, I will spread the attacks around and give credit where credit is due....

So I'm taking a vow of neutrality, but it won't be dull beige neutrality. I think partisanship is too tedious to read. This is going to be cruel neutrality.
3 years later, I've got exactly the same attitude. And, seriously, if you're distracted by the issue of me actually, in the end, needing to vote for somebody, I would rather — in addition to a 2012 vow of cruel neutrality — vow not to vote at all.

I'm not committing to abide by the results of this poll, but give me some input:

In 2012, Althouse should...
Not take any vows related to political blogging.
Vow to tell us exactly what she thinks and to vote for the candidates of her choice.
Take a vow of cruel neutrality again and, in the end, tell us about it and vote for that person.
Take a vow of cruel neutrality and, in the end, vote without telling us whom she votes for.
Take a vow of cruel neutrality and a vow not to vote at all in 2012.

  
pollcode.com free polls 

82 comments:

caplight45 said...

I like the cruel neutrality without disclosing who you vote for in the end. Of course you could tell me because the confessional is sacred.

shiloh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Methadras said...

Cruel neutrality is a cruel joke. It's like saying you don't know who you will vote for president because you have to reset yourself every four years and you expect people to believe that? I like the phrase, but it's application is a farce.

ricpic said...

The vow not to vote should only be taken if one sincerely believes the game is rigged.

Full disclosure: I haven't voted in decades since I decided not to participate in my own rape.

But sounding off is still fun.

shiloh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason (the commenter) said...

As if Althouse hasn't been getting wet over Romney already. There's been no neutrality from Althouse. None.

Talking about "cruel neutrality" now... It's like she's trying to re-virginize herself!

(No white dress for you young lady! Dull beige!)

sorepaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ndspinelli said...

Jason, cuidado por favor. Joe Friday is doing surveillance, along w/ Barney Fife. Same for you sorepaws. just make your vote, and be grateful for your cake. Toe the line, dudes!!

Curious George said...

"I'm positioning myself in a delicate state of unknowing"

What a steaming pile then, what a steaming pile now. The only thing left to know is what will trigger the "Here is where ________ lost me" as she heads off to pull the handle for Barry.

Chip S. said...

How you blog is much more important than how you vote. Very few elections are ties.

MayBee said...

You are thoughtful, but you aren't neutral.
I say continue to write about the decision making process you are going through, but don't bother labeling it "cruel neutrality" for anyone's sake but your own.

Freeman Hunt said...

Heh. I have to agree with Jason. Romney is the Althouse man. He would have been last time too if he'd been the nominee.

My vote was for her telling us what she thinks and voting whatever she likes.

Browndog said...

I don't think many fault Althouse for voting for Capt. Fuckup-

I do think many, including myself, take issue with her "justifications"-

So be it.

To the people in the poll that voted for Althouse to vow not to vote:

SERIOUSLY?

mesquito said...

Oh, for Pete's sake. I don't care how you vote and I have no idea what "neutrality" is. Just stay interesting.

Freeman Hunt said...

If only there were another option for, "Do whatever most riles the whiners."

pm317 said...

What is this vow of cruel neutrality? You are either neutral or not with your blog. Isn't your blog persona different from your other everyday persona?

bagoh20 said...

This reminds me of a friend of mine who when we go through the McDonalds drive thru, always takes forever to decide what he wants, and then always picks the same thing anyway. He fools himself believing that because there is a choice that he is actually making one.

Carol_Herman said...

Please stop worrying. No one's mind is being changed. You did hurculean work live blogging at least two of the debates. And, you report on all of them.

I still think we're gonna have an Independent pulling up ...

And, today, Donald Trump, who just pulled out of hosting Debate ... #100? On December 27th. Threatened to come out as an Independent runner on May 21st. The day after The Apprentice" ends its season, the day before.

And, Trump doesn't have to worry about "equal time rules." Because he has a popular enough show on TV.

I've even picked my Trifecta ticket.

Now, I live in California. The democraps own this place.

You live in Wisconsin. A toss up state! More money will be spent in Wisconsin than in California ... trying to entice voters to vote for "their" candidate.

It's great for the local economy.

And, if we're watching to see what happens in Wisconsin on Election Day 2012 ... All I can say is that the Eastern states didn't deliver enough electoral votes to Obama.

It would also mean that it will be an ending ... on par with the Bears and Bronco's(?) Football game. Where "Tebow(?" won in "overtime."

Dunno if Americans will be as enthused over a political event; the way they are over football.

But everyone has a free choice!

Keep yours.

Are you sensitive to the idiots who complain about your 2008 vote? REALLY? McCain was just a stupid party pick.

The GOP is good at this. Maybe, 2012 ... will end up looking like Dole's defeat in 1996?

I mean ... you had Monica in the Oval Office ... which really put Bill Clinton on the map! (And, Gingrich, then BLEW IT!)

If Gingrich is looking good now?

The GOP has big time problems casting this show.

Chip S. said...

You should register the domain name Althou.ch as a declaration of your complete commitment to neutrality.

Gumby said...

Self deluded much?

ndspinelli said...

Mesquito, You are awarded the Comment of the Month Award. You receive a free book from Amazon. May I recommend, My Life Deleted. It's a book written by Scott Bolzan. Scott suffered a traumatic brain injury and had to relearn his entire life. Scott experienced a rare instance of total amnesia. As we all know, amnesia and "evil twins" have been the story line for many B grade movies and tv shows. This is real, which is always better than fiction.

Pete said...

Althouse has never admitted she made a mistake voting for Obama and she never will. She'll make some noise about some other candidate but come election time, she'll again vote for Obama and come up with another convoluted reason why Obama had to be her choice.

Ann Althouse said...

""I'm positioning myself in a delicate state of unknowing" What a steaming pile then, what a steaming pile now."

It was true then. I don't know if I'd express it that way now. I doubt it. But I feel most comfortable observing the scene from the outside. I'm not committed to any candidate. That is true.

And I can see from the poll that you people want the truth.

But you can't handle the truth. The truth is that I have a greater neutrality than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Gingrich, and you curse the Romney. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, produces blog posts. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that blog, you need me on that blog. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself. But I would like if you just said thank you.

Ned said...

Anybody who is neutral...NEUTRAL given the damage the president has done to this country must be a government employee or terribly ill informed.
You're in the 40% who will vote for obama NO MATTER WHAT and the rest of us have our work cut out for us...we aren't counting on you.

Titus said...

I believe you and Meadsy Poo have sent hints to all that you are voting for Romney.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a dog that is limping on their front paw? I checked him out completely and can't find anything in his paws, pads, nails, etc?

I am kind of scared. I hate seeing him uncomfortable.

tits.

Chip S. said...

Thanks, Colonel.

Pogo said...

Cruel Newtrality.

Ann Althouse said...

"You're in the 40% who will vote for obama NO MATTER WHAT and the rest of us have our work cut out for us...we aren't counting on you."

Do you think the lefties of Madison, the people here who know me, think that? These people are certain I'm a hard-core right-winger. It can't all be true!

JohnJ said...

“…I would rather — in addition to a 2012 vow of cruel neutrality — vow not to vote at all.”

That’s the spirit!

And by symbolically voting “present,” you can help ensure four more years of an administration that may not yet qualify as disastrous, but certainly does seem intent on hastening America’s decline.

Cedarford said...

No Republican right-winger has explained why if voting for Obama over the Hero Who Suffered before his Lifetime Senate Position , McCain...was such a mistake...why is there nary a peep for "one More Time! John! Please!" from them?"

Why is there nothing out there from moderates and Independents about how they deeply regret voting for Obama/Biden when they could have had McCain/Palin the last 3 years and How Much Better Everything Would Have Been?????

It speaks for itself.

Voters concluded Obama was the lesser of two evils, and no conservative sentiment exists for "Our John Who Suffered So!" to get another chance.

---------
Bringing things up to present, it does seem to be logical to presume that most of the American voting public will not decide who to vote for until the last two months. That has usually been the pattern in Presidential elections.
You have the rabid partisan rubes - and then you have the Center that will eventually decide.
In 2008, it took a while to sink in, post convention - what an awful candidate McCain was and how dismal a President he would be

Freeman Hunt said...

But you can't handle the truth. The truth is that I have a greater neutrality than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Gingrich, and you curse the Romney. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, produces blog posts. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that blog, you need me on that blog. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself. But I would like if you just said thank you.

Ha ha ha

Thank you, by the way.

Chip S. said...

Do you think the lefties of Madison, the people here who know me, think that? These people are certain I'm a hard-core right-winger.

They're also people who think that Republican governors are the agents of Big Government. Why should we pay any attention to what they think?

JohnJ said...

I’m guessing that whole section after “But you can't handle the truth” is parody.

Right?

Here's a heartfelt "Thanks!" in any case.

ndspinelli said...

A self parody, the sincerest form of narcissism.

America's Politico said...

The Althouse Blog should endorse Newt/Perry. This is THE TICKET for the GOP.

Please support Newt/Perry.

We in the Committee to Re-elect the POTUS are begging you to support this ticket.

We reject any attempts to support/endorse/even mention Romney. You CAN and SHOULD criticize Romney but never, ever, in favorable means.

GMay said...

"The truth is that I have a greater neutrality than you could possibly fathom."

If this line weren't so Kenobi-esque it would be gag-inducing.

If I were a bettin' man (and I am), I'd say that the commenter hit pretty darn close to the mark to get such attention from you.

shiloh said...
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EMD said...

Relax everyone, she's going to vote for Amazon in the end.

EMD said...

I wonder if Carol_Herman worships Ellipses, the Greek God of Unfinished Business.

America's Politico said...

This is why I (who support the POTUS) come to this blog. This is the best blog. The blogger deserves to be on NYT Opinion Page.

====
And I can see from the poll that you people want the truth.

But you can't handle the truth. The truth is that I have a greater neutrality than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Gingrich, and you curse the Romney. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, produces blog posts. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that blog, you need me on that blog. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself. But I would like if you just said thank you.

bagoh20 said...

"Did you order the Code
Red?"

Col. Althouse: "You're Goddamn right I did!"

bagoh20 said...

Remember the Colonel was justifying making a fatal mistake in his duty, and cloaking it in high responsibility.

shiloh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ndspinelli said...

I sense an insurrection, release the hounds!!

Richard said...

Richard the commenter here. Geez, I didn't mean to spawn a blog post. (Sorry, I never saw your neutrality post in 2008.) But you see, you supported Bill Clinton in the 90s and so I just can't see someone of your maturity chasing down new political philosophies willy nilly. And so I'm guessing you'll go Obama, and I'm guessing you went Obama in '08 too. I admit it's partially puzzling to me because your fan base here is mostly conservative, but I'm usually pretty accurate about such things. By the way, I voted for full disclosure and transparency, but somehow I don't think you're going to head that way either. Nevertheless, I remain a loyal and interested reader to your blog and wish you a wonderful election year.

Oligonicella said...

But you can't handle the truth. The truth is that I have a greater... I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself. But I would like if you just said thank you.

Hubris.

shiloh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ndspinelli said...

Titus, Time to put that dog down. Make sure it's a .38 or better, don't want to have the poor thing linger. A double tap should ensure that. RIP Lassie. Tits.

ndspinelli said...

Or, Maybe just some Ascripton first. If that doesn't work..the double tap. Tits. Clouds.

Tim said...

This is interesting.

From where I sit, for the ideologically uncommitted yet otherwise intelligent voter, Obama's obvious and profound lack of experience, in addition to the cult-like campaign he ran, would have compelled one to rationally vote for McCain.

For the ideologically committed liberal, Obama (or any Democrat) was the obvious choice, despite all the warning signs he wasn't ready for office. Liberals vote for liberals, no matter how bad they might be.

For the ideologically committed conservative, McCain (or any Republican) was the the obvious choice, despite all the history he wasn't ideologically principled, and he craved approval from all the wrong people. Conservatives vote for conservatives, no matter how bad they might be.

My own bet, not reflected in the poll choices, is that anyone who hasn't announced an "anyone but Obama" position by now is, in all likelihood, going to vote for Obama again. If he's not bad enough to get one to announce one is looking for any other candidate now, he'll very likely not ever be bad enough.

The details, at this point, are practically irrelevant save but these: are we better off now than we were before, and on what basis does anyone anywhere expect Obama to be different in the future from what he is today? If one can still entertain voting for Obama despite the (obvious) answers to those questions, one is marching down the path to punch the ballot for him again.

Tim said...

PS: There's no such thing as neutrality, cruel or otherwise. It's a delusion.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Ann:

Do what you like.

I'm going to vote for Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Ron Paul. I hope he runs third party. He'll take a flamethrower to that place, speaking proverbially.

Anyone else would mean throwing my vote away.

And, by the way, I have to say you've definitely moved toward from the left toward the center.

You're still not a right winger.

andinista said...

If ur gon b nutral, den beee nuuutral Don pretnd nutral, n @ las minit com up wit a disatisfac ratialize No matr who u pic, dey gonna suxxx Prezzs r all deeepll flawdd Don defnd a Prez, defnd d Liberty of dis most excepcial contry from all wanbe tyrants, which alll Prezzs r, or becomm Slag em all, both b4 and afta, n nevr let d peeps know who u pickd

Prezzs all becomm corupt, cuz dey surround emselvs w yesss-men Giv em all helll, n let histry decidd whos good r bad

caplight45 said...

Ann: I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself. But I would like if you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a ballot, and stand a vote. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

ndspinelli: Did you vote for Mittens Romney?

Ann: I cast the vote I...

ndspinelli: Professor Althouse, did you vote for Mittens Romney?

Ann: You're G_d d**n right I did!

[Freeman Hunt settles the blog posters after Althouse's revelation on the stand about the Romney vote]

Ann: What is this? What's going on? I cast my vote, I'd do it again!

[stands up defiantly]

Ann: I'm gonna get on iPad and go on back to my blog.

Freeman Hunt: You're not going anywhere, Professor. Pastafarian, hold the Professor's posts for review and moderation. Scott M... guard the guard the Professor!

[Scott M takes post]

Freeman Hunt: Meade?

Ann: What the hell is this?

Meade: Honey, you have the right to remain silent. Any statement you make...

Ann: I'm being charged with a bias? Is that what this is? I'm being charged with a bias? This is funny. That's what this is. This is...

[turning to spinelli and lunging at him]

Ann: I am gonna rip the IP address right out of your blog account and put a virus in your hard drive. You screwed with the wrong blogger!

Meade: Honey! Ann. Do you understand these rights as I have just read them to you?

Ann: [contemptuously] You freakin' people... you have no idea how to defend a blog. All you did was weaken the blogoshpere today, spinelli. That's all you did. You put people's pages in danger. Sweet dreams, son.

ndspinelli: Don't call me son. I'm a Licensed Private Investigator, and a royal pain in the chooch, and you're under my harrassment.

[glares at Althouse]

ndspinelli: The witness is excused.

andinista said...

Shortr andi (sorry): Don voww n don telll

Do [b nuutral], or do nottt Dere is no voww

edutcher said...

Went with #2. Call 'em the way you see 'em, mama.

Ann Althouse said...

And I can see from the poll that you people want the truth.

But you can't handle the truth.


Of course we can, but we reserve the right to tell you, and anybody else, how wrong you were.

Frankly, as I said before, it was the people that stayed home that blew it last time.

andinista said...

Howdja likk 2 b Aaron Sorkin - yor 1 shininnn moment, nevr 2 b reepeetd Dat speeech, dat sceen, both defiins and yet will outlivv Sorkin n d late-era Nicholson

MadisonMan said...

I look forward to the How (candidate) Lost Me post.

sorepaw said...
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sorepaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

"These people are..."

Aka the "people out there."

Canuck said...

I thought it was sorta clear that Althouse was for Romney unless he messes up big time.


I don't see her voting for Gingrich.

that's my guess for now!

ddh said...

In point of fact, cruel neutrality would be the Meadehouse spouses canceling out each other's vote.

RGary said...

Take your vow, or don't... either way, I'm fine. Just for God's sake vote better this time!!!

The Crack Emcee said...

On this subject - after your Obama vote, your rank justifications for it, and your total lack of responsibility for the mess anyone aware could've foretold - I can't accept a word you say as truth. You have shown no capacity for it.

During the dark days of Iraq I knew what my vote meant - and it meant even more after the surge.

But you - from Obama's racist flipping off of McCain and Hillary as white people, and his spoken desire to "redistribute the wealth," to the booing of Bush on election day, and the troubles of Occupy Wall Street - you voted for it all.

Now, today, you're just all over the board - flip, shallow, clueless, totally without shame - like you, and those like you, played no role in the results of the worst domestic decision this country has had to face in decades.

No - don't vote. I've never told anyone that, but, in your case, it's the only responsible choice - because you accept none to begin with.

Cruel neutrality, my ass.

You're supposed to be a citizen.

Captain Curt said...

Ann, you're such a tease. I'll bet you do this to all the guys...

Steve Koch said...

I voted for Althouse to not vote because she normally votes Dem. One thing I've noticed about Dems that I know is that frequently they will agree with me on most issues and yet still vote Dem.

Mr. D said...

I like option #2. That's why I read your blog.

Right Man said...

Why Ann will vote for Obama (again)

1. The Republican nominee is just too extreme on issue A,B,C
2. The Senate looks like it will flip and that is just too much power for one party.
3. With a Republican majority congress Obama will have to govern more as a moderate.
4. A vote for Obama and a maybe a couple of Republicans down the ballot helps her maintain her bi-partisan street cred.

Right Man said...

Why Ann will vote for Obama (again)

1. The Republican nominee is just too extreme on issue A,B,C
2. The Senate looks like it will flip and that is just too much power for one party.
3. With a Republican majority congress Obama will have to govern more as a moderate.
4. A vote for Obama and a maybe a couple of Republicans down the ballot helps her maintain her bi-partisan street cred.

shiloh said...

"Why Ann will vote for Obama (again)"

Her conservative followers and Meade will have plenty to whine about for another (4) ie good for business. ;)

The bottom line as always is the bottom line!

shiloh said...

(4) years

ndspinelli said...

caplight45, I have a horrible sinus infection and hit the sack early. Your trial scene is up there w/ a Few Good Men. Hollywood could use some good screenwriters.

Anyone who knows me will tell you my default position is laid back. That's what drew me to San Diego for Winter's escape from Cheeseland. But people who know me also know I'm no one to screw w/. And, when I'm being screwed w/ I can be a "Royal pain in the chooch." And so in keeping w/ your trial scene:

Judge: Mr. Spinelli, the charge is a violation of blog rules by being a royal pain in the chooch, a class B misdemeanor. Do you understand the charge?

Defendant: Yes, your honor

Judge: Have you consumed any drugs or alcohol today.

Defendant: No, your honor. But I do plan on having a couple bourbons after this hearing.

Judge: This is no place for humor, sir. Now, how do you plead?

Defendant: Your honor, my attorney has suggested I plead no contest but I am pleading guilty.

Judge: Please explain.

Defendant: The rules have changed so fast that I couldn't keep up w/ them. However, ignorance is no excuse and I believe strongly in personal responsibility. And, your honor, I have a good deal of self awareness and I know I can be a royal pain in the chooch. Finally, your honor, I respect the intellect of the blogger, I simply don't think she's always righteous. But, I know the blogoshere is like an Indian Reservation, they are sovereign nations.

Judge: Very well. Your sentence will be you have to read all of Carol Herman's posts for the calendar year 2011 and summarize them for your probation officer, Mr. Meade. Finally, you are ordered to complete an anger management course by Dr. J.

Defendant: The former NBA star?

Judge: No, he's an august psychologist in Madison. However, his office hours are only nocturnal.

Court adjourned

caplight45 said...

Some how I see myself in the prison priest role visiting you in solitary having failed to comply with the conditions of probation.

Although one could perhaps have the Professor argue on constitutional grounds on your behalf that having to reread all of Carol Herman's comments from 2011 is cruel and unusual punishment.

I have heard, and it only a rumor, that her comments are translated into Arabic and read over the loudspeakers at Gitmo.

shiloh said...

hmm, are Carol Herman's posts that bad lol as haven't paid any attention to her previously. There is one poster who writes very longgg posts signifying nothing, but I won't give her name as many would say the same about me ;) although my posts aren't usually long.

Less is more ...

Michael The Magnificent said...

You've already come up with your excuse for voting for Obama, again.

You posted that he now has experience (not that he's learned a damned thing from it, mind you) that the other candidates do not.

So I call bullshit.

ndspinelli said...

caplight45, Prison Chaplains are truly devoted people. I got to know a Jesuit priest who was a Chaplain @ Leavenworth and the County jail. He taught theology @ Rockhurst College.

Here's the Catholic Church for you. When we got married[my bride also knew and liked this good priest] we asked him to perform the service. The diocese wouldn't allow it because we got married in a park, not a Catholic Church!!

The Gitmo comment is the weeks best!!

Finally, the professor would never take my case..no matter the fee.

caplight45 said...

I've been to the Big House in Leavenworth many times. Always a pleasure.

ndspinelli said...

I've not been there since the 70's, do thay have any ac now? Do you practice near there? The only places that had ac were select offices when I worked there. That's why it's called The Hot House. Which is also the title of a good book on the place. A few guys I worked w/ are in that book. It's written by a newspaper reporter, maybe the Wash Post?

caplight45 said...

Spinelli

Yeah they have A/C after a fashion. I think it's one of those water cool systems so it leaves a lot to be desired and Kansas does get hot. Still sounds looks and smells like a prison. It is no longer a maximum security as of a few years ago. It's a level 6 I think. It's funny but they still give it the designation USPrison when as a level 6 it should be designated a correctional facility. It's a pride thing in the Bureau of Prisons that there is only one Big House and there will never be another. Kinda touching in its own way. I'm mostly in the chapel area when I'm there but I do get on Block C sometimes. Block D is closed as uninhabitable for now. But the town of Leavenworth is still a prison/military town.

Methadras said...

Ann Althouse said...

Do you think the lefties of Madison, the people here who know me, think that? These people are certain I'm a hard-core right-winger. It can't all be true!


That's because even though you are left of center, you aren't left enough for them. Anyone who isn't on their side of the fence is a hardcore right winger. They are bat shit crazy and to use them as a datum by which to gauge how they think of everyone else but them is silly.

The problem with your declaration of cruel neutrality is that it smacks of pandering to people who are seeing you for the first time. Frankly, it's attention whoring.

Methadras said...

At this point Ann, I'd rather have you not vote at all. Just stay home.