October 9, 2013

Hey, remember civility?

I remember when liberals were pushing civility in public discourse. I made the tag "civility bullshit" for this topic right away, because I knew it was bullshit, and this morning it seems that everywhere I look on the web, I'm seeing inflammatory rhetoric from liberals. Here are 3 things I happened to see first thing today:

1. "Right-wing nutjobs’ last stand: The debt limit endgame arrives/As the debt limit deadline approaches, conservatives are trotting out the real nonsense. The fantasy is almost over." That's a headline at Salon for an article by Brian Beutler. Apparently, at Salon, they think news analysis is just fine when it calls leaders in the political party they disapprove of "right-wing nutjobs." Does Beutler deserve that presentation? I don't know. Maybe Salon is just fighting for clicks in this crazy world.

2. And here's President Obama, the man who lectured us about civil discourse after the Tucson massacre, talking about the shutdown/debt ceiling problem, and he's using crime as a metaphor: "Think about it this way... The American people do not get to demand a ransom for doing their jobs." Why should we think about it that way? We're supposed to see the Republicans as kidnapping... I don't know... somebody. The Republicans are elected members of Congress, which makes the decisions about spending. They're having a hell of a time getting through this decision, but what makes it crime-like? The comments at that link, which goes to the NYT, pick up the President's cue. One comment — a NYT pick, highly rated by readers —  begins: "President Obama is right. He should not be forced to negotiate with a rope around his neck." Suddenly, the metaphor is lynching.

3. "Will the Supreme Court Allow the Richest Donors to Corrupt American Politics Even More?" That's a front-page teaser at Slate leading to "Poor Little Rich Guys/The Supreme Court clamors to protect the right of Richie Rich, Scrooge McDuck, and the Koch brothers to further corrupt American politics." The article is by Dahlia Lithwick, who's been describing Supreme Court oral arguments for years. She's reporting on yesterday's argument in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, which is a challenge to the limit on how much a person can donate to various candidates. It's not about how much you can give to any single candidate, just the ceiling on total contributions, when you're spreading money around to many candidates. (The limit is $48,600 every 2 years.) Richie Rich? Scrooge McDuck? Will Slate allow the stupidest bullshit to erode American minds even more?

You know who's also rich? In addition to those characters from comic books that Baby Boomers read when they were children? The owners of the Washington Post and the New York Times. How about a law that puts a ceiling on how much they are allowed to spend putting out their political speech? Poor little rich guys. Boo hoo. Who cares? Fuck them, she said, sarcastically.

22 comments:

Moose said...

The amount of vitriol that's been heaped on the GOP and conservatives in general thru the partial "shutdown" and now the potentially world ending "debt ceiling" debate has been nothing short of breath taking. I've been amazed that with how little actual information is getting thru the MSM and how totally they're in the tank with Democratic agenda.

Henry said...

If it wasn't for scapegoats I'm not sure that the left would even have a movement.

You don't need to address deep structural problems in your polity so long as you can blame them on someone.

Tibore said...

Civility BS indeed. That was always a "For thee, not for me" proposition by liberals anyway.

cubanbob said...

The bullshit the Democrats are spewing is awe inspiring.
The point they are making without saying it implicitly is that ObamaCare is the single most important function of the government. They are saying that it is so important they are willing to sacrifice everything else the government funds to save this.

As for Lithwick does this woman have the slightest sense of irony? Taking her logic to its conclusion all oped's would have to be eliminated at the WaPo since it's budget is clearly a campaign contribution to the DNC.

Ann your civility comment is so preciously naive. Don't you know civility is only supposed to apply to Rethuglicans, wingnuts and tea baggers?

cubanbob said...

Excuse my typo: implicit should be explicit.

betamax3000 said...

What did Scalia do to Ginsburg to produce the Ruling that became "The Kochs"?

Should a Politician get drunk to Vote like a Drunk?

Do we prefer to watch Press Conferences with Politicians who really love each other or Politicians who have to act like they love someone they hate?

Did Obama and The Press fall in love because they got so deeply into the roles they were playing in "Hope and Change" and never found their way back to their previous personas?

If Joe Biden stays in character for months — on set and off — is that acting or something like madness?

Are very young Journalists playing roles undeserving of writing credit because their performances arise out of their childish inability to distinguish fantasy from reality?

What do Politicians say to The Little People to make them cry and emote?

Were animals harmed in the making of that Law?

AJ Lynch said...

Here is my comment from yesterday:

"Has Liptak [a NYT writer] or Ginsburg weighed in on .........

And what do they think of the in-kind contributions made everyday in print to Dem candidates by the NYT, Wapo, etc? "

SGT Ted said...

"Righwing nutjobs".

Yes, because desiring that the government balance a budget, spend within its means and not use the bureaucracy to harass and punish your political enemies is so insane.

cubanbob said...

Ann's Obama quote is interesting: taking it to its conclusion he is making a case for the repeal of the NLRA and for a National Right To Work Act. If only the Rethuglicans were smart enough to follow through on Obama's epiphany.

cubanbob said...

Ann why not run a poll question asking if given a choice and no other choices allowed-which would you prefer: being governed by right-wing nut jobs or Communists? Maybe if you have some friends at Salon you could ask them to run the same poll question. Just saw a poll at NPR-NPR!-showing Obama at 37% approval.

Speaking of the little people lets suppose for the same of argument the President, the Senate and the Secretary of the Treasury intentionally default the government and the bond holders sue whose side would side would Ruth 'Buzzy' Ginsburg on? And how would Lithwick sermonize?

Paco Wové said...

"The American people do not get to demand a ransom for..."

So now he's lecturing us, the American people, about what we can and can't do? Schoolmarm-in-chief indeed.

Paco Wové said...

"the bus went to the Old Faithful Inn... barricades were erected around Old Faithful, and the seniors were locked inside the hotel, where armed rangers stayed at the door."

And he'd better not catch you damned Americans recreating! Just who do you think you are!?

Matthew Sablan said...

Meh, Republicans are used to it. Civility is never meant to help them.

Bob Ellison said...

Over time, the civility bullshit might seem to run into the "boy who cried wolf" problem: it becomes less useful, because the people eventually figure out that it's bullshit.

At least, that's what some rightist pundits say. But I don't think that's necessarily the case. As with the never-ending problems of poverty and homelessness, liberals can keep playing the civility bullshit card, because there's a new generation of people to be fooled every twenty years or so. You don't have to fool all of the people all of the time, but you can fooling enough of them with the same old, tired tales, because people die off and youngsters tend to be foolish.

Terry said...

I can't be the only one who wonders what Obama's motivation for instituting and now defending Obamacre is. I mean, if we assume he sincerely thinks that it's a good thing. It won't save the government or the public any money. Obama was notoriously stingy in handing out charity as a private citizen. Does anyone think he has an acutely developed sense of compassion? If so, he's not as good at showing it as Romney.
Does anyone on the left actually believe that Obama has compassion for the uninsured?
And what's up with his wife? Laura Bush was a school librarian, and as first lady she worked the teaching and reading angle.
Michelle Obama was a highly paid lawyer, Princeton and Harvard grad, and she's telling us to grow our own vegetables? WTF?

cubanbob said...

Terry don't you get it? Liberals are too cheap to give charity. They see taxes as charity. It's their version of I gave at the office. Speaking of cheap bastards, can anyone beat Joe Biden when it comes to charitable donations? My housekeeper gives more money to the church than he does.

richard mcenroe said...

I remember the last time the progs whined about 'civility' while taking a breather from their usual scatologica l, misogynistic ad hominem attacks. I reached out to the. I did.

I had "Civility" engraved in a lovely cursive on the barrel of my new .44.

I do believe they questioned my sincerity...

jr565 said...

"Think about it this way... The American people do not get to demand a ransom for doing their jobs."

I'm thinking about it. Now that I did, I'm wondering who is actually demanding a ransom for doing their jobs? Isn't it really the people demanding that we raise the debt ceiling again and again.
Here's the gist of their argument. We spent too much money. And now we need to borrow more to cover our spending or we'll go into default.But, we wouldnt need to borrow money if congress didn't spend too much to begin with.

Yes we have to do it now or risk default, but why are we in this position?

Also, as a senator Barack Obama voted against raising the debt ceiling. So what does that say about him and hostage taking?

jr565 said...

We have to recognize that for liberals any attack will do. Barack Obama will vote against raising the debt ceiling on the grounds that the govt is spending too much, not because he really believes that but because he thinks it would be damaging to Bush and thus strenghen democrats hands. If you look at nearly every position taken by liberals, especially the ones they got their panties in a wad over, it ended up not being argued on principle but for expediency. And you can look at the anti war left for a perfect example of this.
Even the slogans "Speaking truth to power", "Not in our name" have a shelf life of the duration that their opposition was in power. Now speaking truth to power is racist.

jr565 said...

cubanbob wrote:
Terry don't you get it? Liberals are too cheap to give charity. They see taxes as charity. It's their version of I gave at the office. Speaking of cheap bastards, can anyone beat Joe Biden when it comes to charitable donations? My housekeeper gives more money to the church than he does.


Even with taxes though it's usually the other guy that has to pay the taxes.


eric said...

I'd love to see side by side video's of the worst offenders.

It'd be pretty funny to see Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid deploring the harsh rhetoric which caused people to get shot in Tucson AZ, and now they are using all kinds of harsh rhetoric to describe Republicans.

It's hard for me to believe that there isn't endless rolls of this somewhere. I'd be willing to be every host of MSNBC deplored harsh rhetoric then and is using harsh rhetoric now.

EDH said...

"Hey, remember civility?"

And it's whispered that soon if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason.
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long
And the forests will echo with laughter...

Does Anybody Remember Laughter?