February 6, 2017

A conversation about the politics of the commenters on the Althouse blog.

There was an open thread on this blog last night, and while many of the comments were about the Super Bowl...
Patriots getting schlonged.

Bigly.


Coin toss wins. What a rip.

Like Hillary beating Bernie in Iowa caucuses.

Cubs... Trump... Pats... I'm liking the way things are going.
... there was some interesting talk about the politics of the Althouse commenters.

Jack Wayne said:
I think everyone that reads this blog has noticed the increased number of lefty commenters. It started about 6 months ago. At first I thought it was a paid Soros performance trying to sway the election. Find a moderate blog and swamp it with lefty sentiments. It kept up after the election and now we see a determined effort to bring down Trump. What I'm having trouble understanding is the end game and why pick on Althouse? The end game is Pence followed by Ryan. Is that a reasonable goal? I think not but lefties are acting nutty right now. The other question of Althouse is more opaque. The best I can come up with is that the lefties feel the need to herd Althouse back into the fold. But I think that effort is doomed. Any lefties in the know are welcome to tell us what you are trying to accomplish.
Henry responded with:
What I've wondered for a long time is why the comments section has so many social conservatives in it, ranging from instapundit-style libertarians to outright misogynists. The question in my mind isn't why so many lefties, but why the balance has always been against them.
Jack Wayne said:
Henry, my POV is that lefties are not rational, hence they are the target in a blog that does not delete comments like so many lefty sites do.
Yancey Ward said:
Henry asked why Althouse draws so many from the right side of the political divide?

The explanation is fairly easy — she pulls no punches for the most part. I know from her writing that she leans left, but she almost never tolerates bullshit from either side — so there is something here for people from both sides to both agree with and disagree with. However, the main reason the commentators here lean right more than left is simply this — she doesn't delete their comments for simply disagreeing with her — a very rare thing for bloggers who are to the left.

Since I won't generally even read a blogger who practices such censorship, I noticed about a year ago that I was suddenly down to just Althouse who could be identified as a liberal, and who had a comments section. I have lost some bloggers on the right, too, who do this, but nowhere near the percentage. My theory is simply that liberals and progressives are just less tolerant of differing opinions, and the commenters from the left are less likely to frequent a comments section where they might encounter an actual opponent.

And you know what — I think her commenters have probably had an effect on Ms. Althouse — she definitely has drifted to the center in the last 4 years.

Of course, we could all just be commenters paid by Putin.

232 comments:

1 – 200 of 232   Newer›   Newest»
AprilApple said...

Leftwing blogs delete non-leftwing posts? Leftists have a problem with free ideas and enforce speech codes.

Shocked.

Xmas said...

I do miss the Crack Emcee, even though we drove him insane thinking we are all evil racists. (Just thinking of the one person you had to chastise for their comments).

And Laslo I can put up with. Though I watched Doug Stanhope's bit on pink gear in the NFL a few days ago, and Laz needs to step up his game.

AJ Lynch said...

We commenters need a union- the Russian exchange rate is kinda sucking these days.

Mike Sylwester said...

I began reading this blog regularly in 2011, during the demonstrations against Wisconsin Act 10. However, I only lurked for a very long time -- maybe a few years.

I too have noticed the recent influx of leftist commenters here and wondered if they are "outside agitators". However, maybe they are merely long-time lurkers who are self-motivated to participate now because of our new President Trump.

Michael K said...

I used to read and comment at leftist blogs. The best one was Kevin Drum's "Calpundit." Then he moved to "Washington Monthly" and we used to have a few interesting debates. In 2004, Kevin even researched the story of Bush being AWOL and concluded that it was not true. Dan Rather later ran aground on the story but that was quite a while after Kevin dismissed it. He would loved it if true as he hated Bush, not like present day leftist hate but serious disrespect.

Eventually, the comments from the lefties got nastier and nastier toward me, almost the only non-left commenter. They really went nuts when I disagreed about single payer. I had done a study of health care systems in other countries, and have a degree in Health Policy from Dartmouth. The comments got nastier and more personal, sort of like Ritmo here. Then my comments would be deleted, often leaving the nasty responses that made no sense with mine gone.

I complained to Kevin, whose email I still had from the prior blog. He responded that he had no control. It was the blog moderators, who worked for the parent magazine that were doing it and he had no control.

Then he moved on to Mother Jones and the deletions continued so I gave up.

The left has been in an echo chamber since at least 2004. National Revue's comments are over run with leftist spam and pretty much unreadable.

Powerline's comments have greatly expanded since the Trump campaign began to look significant a year ago.

HuffPo used to "moderate" my comments so that they would not appear or appear only a day later. I've quit reading that since Trump as they have gone insane over there.

Not many places where there is a dialog and the left, even here, has gotten sketchy, like ARM who used to be more moderate in tone.

Big Mike said...

What YancEy said.

@AJ, my contract calls for payment in Euros. You need a better agent.

Kevin said...

Althouse is not explicitly anti-Trump so the lefty commenters can't passively read anymore.

It's not that the left can't stand criticism, they can't stand insufficient hatred.

mezzrow said...

*slips rubles into pocket*

Da, this is sinkhole of hatred and racism. How far to Frostbite Falls?

*goes to bank with rubles to convert to something usable*

This is worth how much? Ah, Fearless leader has screwed us again...

One Eye said...

The local Isthmus forum has been overrun by toxic lefties...so much so that the garden variety lefties are participating less and less.

Which leads to the question are the toxic Ls really righties in disguise?

Big Mike said...

Over on a defense-oriented blog commented that if the Air Force was bound and determined to get rid of the A-10 because it was too slow and too ugly perhaps the Russians could sell us some SU-25s. Got deleted. Only Althouse and Meade have a proper sense of humor.

tcrosse said...

Soros pays in Hungarian Forints, at 3000 to the dollar. They're good fire-starters.

iowan2 said...

Left wing ideas are inconsistent to the extreme. Let's face it. The one Sacrament of their religion is human sacrifice.
From there it just devolves into idiocy.

Conservatives? At least me. Remove the federal govt.(that especially means the federal judiciary) from my life. I am not anti govt. (that's where leftist go, see how misleading they are?) I am, govt closest to the people. Public education would be a lot better if the Federal govt were barred from it with the same restrictions that now apply to Religion.
With me I'm consistent on my beliefs.

So on this blog it is very hard for leftist to survive, defending the indefensible against intelligent conservatives is a losing battle. Those leftist above average in intelligence, bail and dont come back. The rest left here are played the fool on a regular basis, just not aware.

tim in vermont said...

I would love to hear a solid, unapologetic working definition of misogyny, so I could figure out who these people are. I have a hard time with people who argue using terms they choose not to define.

David Begley said...

I think I found the Althouse blog through a link on Power Line; about two years now. In that time I have not found her to be very progressive or liberal. Cruel neutrality.

When Ann identified the mission of the blog as clear speech it was no surprise to me. I guess I knew it, but seeing it stated by the author made it well, clear.

I used to be a liberal but the dishonest speech of the Left was one of the thing that flipped me. "Undocumented immigrants" and "we are a nation of immigrants" are two recent examples. We are a nation of legal immigrants. The Left's attack on the Rule of Law will destroy America if it continues. If we don't have the Rule of Law here, we don't have anything. And, of course, the Clintons lead the league in law breaking. If the Clintons are the leaders of the Dem party, I don't want to be associated with that crew. Obama was not much better; just slicker.

Althouse blog draws conservative commenters because of the sharp and clear analysis by Ann. Libs writers can't be so intellectually honest and remain liberal. Tom Friedman, Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd are all examples of sloppy thinking.

Original Mike said...

The left certainly has a problem with dissent. The great irony is that lefties view themselves as nonconformists. It's central to their self identity.

Ann Althouse said...

"Althouse is not explicitly anti-Trump so the lefty commenters can't passively read anymore."

I believe that most lefties — including almost everyone I know in Madison — regard me as conservative because of this blog. Many of these people express hostility openly or in a thinly veiled way.

It's really bad!

I grew up thinking it was the people of the left who were courageously free and expressive. Not so! It's a profound disappointment in my life.

tcrosse said...

As the term is used by the sort of people who use it, Misogyny is the dislike of Liberal Women, or the like of Conservative Women.

Mike Sylwester said...

If I want to laugh a lot, I read any comment thread at Reason.com. That is a very funny group of commenters. However, there is relatively little substantive discussion.

Zero Hedge has very funny commenters too.

However, I rarely read those two websites any more.

Only here and at Steve Sailer's blog do I read a lot of comments and participate.

roesch/voltaire said...

I guess I am one of those long time "lefty" commentators on this blog who is not afraid to expose my irrational views to the withering criticism of the right. Michael your comments about Huff are exactly what happened to me on Luciane.com, a right wing blog that blocked my comments and would not allow me to post observations about distortions I observed. Yet I do not make comments about the right's fear of free speech as I know how comfortable it is for some people to stay within their sphere of thought on both the right and left-- that has never applied to me.

tcrosse said...

I grew up thinking it was the people of the left who were courageously free and expressive. Not so!
I got this lesson handed to me in Madison in the early 1960s. 'Twas ever thus.

tim in vermont said...

I would like a definition of misogyny from a self declared liberal. Long experience has taught me not to expect one.

David Begley said...

Not surprised to learn lefties in Madison are not nice to Ann. That reflects poorly on them and their politics. The Left demands loyalty or it is ostracism and attack. Sad!

AprilApple said...

Related

The anti-free speech left. It's a big problem.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Where do I sign up for the Putin-geld?

tim in vermont said...

Henry should define it, he threw out the accusation.

MadisonMan said...

I didn't follow the Super Bowl thread -- because I went to bed early last night. What bliss!!

Meteor last night, by the way.

CWJ said...

Increase in leftist commenters? Or just an increase in leftist unknowns and ever changing leftist handles.

And what is it with these people's need to keep changing their handles. Even a number of our "regulars" do this. By the way, "Once wtitten" of "hillbilly" fame had a different name in years past, but I can't remember it. Anyone else remember it?

robother said...

Not jus misogyny, but "outright misogynists"! Rather than a definition, give examples. That should be amusing. Ad hominem works better if I know who specifically not to read, enjoy.

Freder Frederson said...

Althouse a liberal? Hardly. Besides being grudgingly pro-choice and not completely grossed out by LBGTQ people, she is conservative, and has become more socially conservative since marrying Meade. Even before Meade, she was pro Iraqi war, excused, ignored or downplayed the war crimes committed by the Bush administration.

I grew up thinking it was the people of the left who were courageously free and expressive. Not so! It's a profound disappointment in my life.

And the right is any better. All you have to do is read the comments on your own blog to realize that the righties don't just disagree with those of us on the left, they consider us un-American and actively trying to destroy the country.

Jess said...

What amazes me are the people I know that are reasonable, appear calm, seem rational, and start foaming at the mouth when their liberal opinions are questioned. It's like a bell was rung, and their prior conditioning training kicks into high gear. While they may feel they're defending something good, from my perspective, they've lost their minds, are dangerous, and can't be trusted.

Humperdink said...

Ann, your blog is my go-to site for all things political. Your blog is the best for several reasons.

> You do not censor anyone unless they are complete jerks.

> Secondly, I am impressed that you let personal criticism roll off your back. Not sure I could do that.

> Your topics are current and draw from both lefty and conservative sources.

> Your commentariat is probably the most knowledgeable on any site, anywhere.

Henry said...

My own take is similar to David Begley's. Althouse begs no questions which at once sets her apart from most writers about politics, right* and left. Yet Cruel Neutrality is not just a clarity of analysis, but an artistic sensibility. It is the view of politics as theater and life as performance. Anyone who sees politics as personal, or politics as struggle, will miss the point. It is a rare sensibility I very much appreciate.

traditionalguy said...

The siren call of the Bordeless World is ramping up the volume trying to drown out the old pre-digital Nation States within borders identity preached by Trump, Farage, and Le Pen.

All they have done so far is drown out rational thought with floods of Hoax News after Hoax News. IMO that flood is also what we see attacking the Althouse comment threads.

Original Mike said...

"Meteor last night, by the way."

Nice one.

tim in vermont said...

You excused Hillary's war mongering in Syria and Libya Freder, I guess because she is a Democrat. I assume that makes you a good liberal.

Bob Ellison said...

No, Jack Wayne is incorrect, at least in the long term. Maybe over the last six months lefty commenters have come around in numbers, but that would be a recent thing. I wouldn't want to be a lefty commenter around here. The rebuttal is brutal.

Over the several years that I've been reading Althouse blog posts (maybe 85%) and comments (maybe 25%), the commentariat has drifted rightward. Yancey Ward has the plausible explanation: righties are attracted to vehicles that don't stop for bullshit. We've been looking for an anti-PC vehicle for thirty years. That's part of what got Trump elected.

Mrs. X said...

Althouse, do you think of yourself as a liberal? As someone who's been reading since ~2010 you have never struck me as such.

mockturtle said...

And then there's Fredo.....

Original Mike said...

"Once wtitten" of "hillbilly" fame had a different name in years past, but I can't remember it. Anyone else remember it?"

Afraid I can't help, but be on the lookout for him under a new name since he apparently has been booted.

Original Mike said...

How's the bayou this morning, Freder?

David Begley said...

My guess is that Ann was drawn to liberal politics based on two things: the culture of the sixties and her art talent. The art community is very liberal; nearly a job requirement.

I am friends with a very successful artist. Everyone assumes he is liberal. He's not. He tells me he sometimes feels like a spy behind enemy lines.

Bob Ellison said...

If you say something stupid around here, you get picked up, stuck like a pig, and waved over hot coals. Possibly by the Professor herself.

Lefty/PC types are not trained in how to handle that. Righties have had to deal with it for a long time. We love that! Makes us tougher.

MadisonMan said...

Fox Milwaukee on the meteor.

Laslo Spatula said...

For me, when reading comments the politics are usually of less importance than whether the comment is simply interesting.

Talking points and pissing-contest stridency are boring, regardless of what it is in support of (or -- more often -- what it is denigrating).

Simply put, there are a lot of interesting commenters here. I enjoy the tangents of history and science and grammar, and the humor and insight.

It might be a question of the depth-of-experience of the commenters: many seem to have lived full and varied lives, and have a lot of life to draw from. Why many of them are conservative no doubt draws from those experiences, but I won't extrapolate on that.

I think many of these commenters are drawn to Althouse for the same reason: while politics are discussed, it is not a 'political blog', and Althouse's varied experiences and interests -- and clear writing -- can make a subject compelling that, in other hands, would just be boilerplate.

Those who are just interested in the politics of a post often miss the bigger picture Althouse frames. Unfortunately, this usually results in bumper-sticker comments.

Off the top of my head.

I am Laslo.



rehajm said...

What I'm having trouble understanding is the end game and why pick on Althouse?

Althouse is a forum where conservative ideas aren't immediately rejected, as others have pointed out. I don't think it's anything more than that.

The end game isn't necessarily getting Trump out as much as the weakness it creates within the GOP and the subsequent policy floundering. The GOP really has an open field in front of them and yet they wallow in procedure. Trump wants a replacement before repeal. Tax policy can't move forward piecemeal. You need Sessions to vote in DeVos, so they both get delayed. Pick off a Republican or two and everything grinds things to a halt. Suddenly it's 2018 and everyone is campaigning for midterms. The left has more power than I would have imagined.

Johnathan Birks said...

I just come here for pictures of flowers and snow.

AprilApple said...

No doubt righties can stifle free speech, too.

But the leftist free speech problem is THE problem (on the internet and on our college campuses.) Milo cannot speak without a violent mask-wearing anti-free speech leftwing mob self-righteously breaking and burning, threatening and stomping. Newsweek, a democrat publication, reports that the ISIS-mask wearing, free speech stomping leftwingers are the righteous.

Something wrong here. Leftists refuse to hold up a mirror or condemn.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Freder,
"Even before Meade, she was pro Iraqi war"

You mean like 95+% of the Democratic leadership?

Original Mike said...

Thanks for the link, MM. I'm going to have to check out the American Meteor Society. I see meteors when I'm out observing (not surprisingly). I should start reporting on the big ones.

Michael K said...

Michael your comments about Huff are exactly what happened to me on Luciane.com, a right wing blog that blocked my comments and would not allow me to post observations about distortions I observed.

I don't read that blog and, if your comments were measured, I agree with you.

"she was pro Iraqi war, excused, ignored or downplayed the war crimes committed by the Bush administration."

This is the sort of thing that the left often thinks is argument. "War Crimes" is a rallying cry for the clueless left. Why not make a reasonable argument that the Iraq War was a mistake ? I've had debates with people about it. Over at Chicago Boyz, a much less active blog but with a group of pretty knowledgeable commenters and posters, we've had discussions. Some think it was a mistake to invade at all. I understand why Bush felt he had to do it. Few lefties recall the sanctions were collapsing.

Probably the worst mistake in Iraq was made by Schwartzkopf who negotiated a ceasefire with no diplomatic advice, The Iraq generals snookered him. I don;t know if Po=well gave him the OK to do that.

No Democrat, even those who voted for the war, wants to discuss it rationally.

Amadeus 48 said...

Freder--Don't ever go away.

Caroline Walker said...

I've said it before, but the alt house combox is my safe space....the yee ha alpha males a welcome contrast to the feminized media world which churns on emotion. Say, there's a definition of misogyny. I would add, any acknowledgement/or celebration of sex differences falls under the new dispensation, as well. Boo.

Seeing Red said...

Only if Pooty-Poot pays in Benjamins. The ruble is still worthless.

Alexander said...

I rarely comment, but I've always favored Althouse because she takes all ideas seriously, and she submits all of them to merciless no-bullshit destructive analysis. Like everyone, she has her blindspots, but they are minuscule compared to the blinders most political commentators are wearing, and there's generally a large group of conservatives with a soft spot for this kind of commenting.

Sebastian said...

"I believe that most lefties — including almost everyone I know in Madison — regard me as conservative because of this blog. Many of these people express hostility openly or in a thinly veiled way. It's really bad! I grew up thinking it was the people of the left who were courageously free and expressive. Not so! It's a profound disappointment in my life." The fact is, only some of us to your right genuinely understand and share the disappointment. Of course, some of us who started on the left figured out very quickly that people on the left were hardly "courageously free and expressive." Expression was and is always an ideological tool in the ongoing battle for cultural and political power -- nothing more, nothing less. That is also the reason lefties are commenting more here -- some in good faith, most in trying to dominate one of the few free spaces that remain online.

SayAahh said...

Classic cyclic Althouse...commenter circle jerk.
Example: the Sharpie graffiti comments.
A free speech circus is improved with an occasional ring master.

alan markus said...

@ Laslo Spatula - well put! Very good explanation of why I follow this site. And there is a less serious side of me that was slightly disappointed to see that comment was not your usual fare.

surfed said...

I used to read the comments religiously but stopped when I retired a few years ago. There's only so many hours in a day. I still read Althoyse everday but the commenters not so much. I even stopped commenting (for the most part) myself. Althouse is the draw... I do miss Meade calling side pocket shots on the comnenters though...

Amadeus 48 said...

As I read Althouse, she has a non-doctrinaire libertarian streak, derived in part from her parents, who essentially believed that one should live one's life as one sees fit with minimal direction from outside parties. That makes her willing to consider and challenge ideas on their own merits, rather than fitting them into a prefabricated political or world view. She is essentially a visual artist with a strong critical streak.
Hence, the free and open discussion here.
She raised her sons that way.
She found a soulmate in Meade.

AllenS said...

Althouse appears to be a liberal, not a lefty. Big difference.

mockturtle said...

Bob Ellison notes: If you say something stupid around here, you get picked up, stuck like a pig, and waved over hot coals. Possibly by the Professor herself.

Lefty/PC types are not trained in how to handle that. Righties have had to deal with it for a long time. We love that! Makes us tougher.


One of the many strong features of Althouse's blog is that fragile whiners are not coddled. I've been on other blogs on which, the moment someone feels 'offended' by a comment, the 'offender' is chastised and threatened with expulsion. And there are SO many ways to offend nowadays.

mockturtle said...

I've always seen Althouse as basically Libertarian. Her fascination with Obama was not based on her intellect or her ideology.

AReasonableMan said...

The self-congratulatory blog post. Not a classic one, but not untypical of the form.

tim in vermont said...

When the national conversation is between a lying press and a bullshit artist POTUS, and I use the term 'artist' advisedly, we need someone like Althouse.

Roger Sweeny said...

I grew up thinking it was the people of the left who were courageously free and expressive. Not so! It's a profound disappointment in my life.

That makes two of us, says someone who was born less than a year before you were. One way I try to make sense of this is to distinguish "liberals" and "the left." (It's great intellectual sport to make words mean what you want them to mean.) Liberals are concerned with liberty in a broad sense: free speech, freedom of religion, but also the idea that if you're poor or legally discriminated against, you have less freedom than if you weren't. "The left" on the other hand has a romantic view of government ownership and control, along with a dislike unto hatred for markets and capitalism. They dream of everyone living together and agreeing--which means agreeing with them and doing what they want. So of course bad speech should not be tolerated.

Humans really seem to be tribal and religious in a broad sense. There are some things you must believe and if you don't, you are "them"--who are in some sense not truly human and who thus must be suppressed. G.K. Chesterton didn't actually say it but the first part of the misquotation is true, "When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing." I thought they could believe in science, tolerance, etc. But history isn't leaning that way right now.

ndspinelli said...

An homage to her commenters. Curious.

Humperdink said...

"I've always seen Althouse as basically Libertarian. Her fascination with Obama was not based on her intellect or her ideology."

... nor the crease in his pants.

tcrosse said...

Back when he was still funny, PJ O'Rourke said that the three co-equal branches of the Federal Government were Money, Television, and Bullshit.

ndspinelli said...

The Turley blog has gotten noticeably more conservative commenters the last several years, but there has been a slight uptick in liberal trolls of late. Leftists have gone from denial and are in the anger phase. They will remain there indefinitely.

Ann Althouse said...

"Althouse a liberal? Hardly. Besides being grudgingly pro-choice and not completely grossed out by LBGTQ people, she is conservative, and has become more socially conservative since marrying Meade. Even before Meade, she was pro Iraqi war, excused, ignored or downplayed the war crimes committed by the Bush administration."

Meade is socially conservative??

Where do you get that?

I just asked him what he thought that could refer to. He said "Personal responsibility?" And, sarcastically: "Oh, that's so socially conservative."

If anything, Meade and I are a little conservative about some economic things. But social conservative? You are just talking out of your ass, Freder.

rhhardin said...

Some kinds of bullshit detection are called misogyny.

Michael K said...

"Her fascination with Obama was not based on her intellect or her ideology."

Obama was the beneficiary of what Samuel Johnson called "The triumph of hope over experience." He was talking about second marriages but the American people were hoping that Obama represented the end of the racism industry.

We see it in schools now, getting much worse as discipline is "race normed."

Affirmative Action was well intentioned but has run amok.

Obama was a Harvard LS grad and looked cool and relatively comptetent alongside McCain who was flummoxed by the 2008 meltdown.

I had read about Obama's background in early 2008 and knew his resume was mostly fake.

The result was no surprise to me but a great disappointment to a lot of well meaning people.

I doubt there would be Trump without Obama to set the scene.

MadisonMan said...

The self-congratulatory blog post. Not a classic one, but not untypical of the form.

The Irony is Strong with this one.

rhhardin said...

It's not exactly bullshit detection when it amounts to saying what everybody notices. It's just not going along.

Unknown said...

I've always assumed that a lot of the conservatives came over on Instapundit links (and at a time when he had no comment section), found it convivial and stayed.

Roger Sweeny said...

Freder Frederson, You are absolutely right that there are lots of people on the right who are not "courageously free and expressive." Just as there are lots of people like that on the left. But I don't think a useful reaction is to think, "Since they are assholes, I should be an asshole, too." (Not that I'm accusing you of that, but I hear that from a lot of people on both sides.)

Instead, the famous Ghandi quote, "Be the change you want to see in the world."

Michael K said...

I said ARM was becoming far less rational and reasonable.

Tommy Duncan said...

During a discussion 20 years ago a liberal friend of mine was accused of making up useful facts and ignoring inconvenient facts. His response: "I'm not seeking truth. I'm seeking advantage."

Given his statement and attendant attitude it is easy to see how political correctness enveloped our culture.

Annie C said...

I know to some it may seem silly, but I truly appreciate the concise language on Althouse. Our hostess makes it seem effortless, although I'm sure it's not, and most commentors are very precise with their wording.

I've seen the influx of lefties (not liberals) lately as well and I noticed a deterioration in careful thinking and writing as well.

Too many sites I used to read have either removed comments or they have become a mass of screaming. No thanks. It's like when ARM or One Bitten get overwrought. Language is lost.

A few posts ago I commented that in a blog, I appreciate depth and comments. I should have said depth in posts and depth in comments. That's what you get here.

Michael K said...

" the famous Ghandi quote, "Be the change you want to see in the world."

I think the original was Plato who said "Be what you want to seem."

Fernandinande said...

Michael K said...
...Obama represented the end of the racism industry.


"I guess calling everyone a “racist” doesn’t work anymore. If it did, Trump would have lost.
As a result, we are all Nazis now."

We see it in schools now, getting much worse as discipline is "race normed."

"No Thug Left Behind"

Fish politics
Predator threat boosts friendships among guppies

Big Mike said...

@Roger, Freder is not merely an asshole, he is actually a spherical asshole because no matter which direction you look at him from, he's still a total asshole.

Now deal with it.

David53 said...

"I believe that most lefties — including almost everyone I know in Madison — regard me as conservative because of this blog. Many of these people express hostility openly or in a thinly veiled way."

I've been reading this blog for a long time and know you are not a conservative. I perceive you as left of center with some libertarian leanings. If you lived next door to me I think we would be neighborly, but not close friends, and most certainly not hostile.

But man, you write well and so do many of your commenters, that's why I read this blog everyday. For some reason though it seems a lot of your more intelligent and witty lefty commenters departed several years ago. Don't know why they left but I miss their contributions. I wish I could write with at least half the effortless clarity you do. Great comments on this thread!

Balfegor said...

Re: Amadeus 48:

As I read Althouse, she has a non-doctrinaire libertarian streak, derived in part from her parents, who essentially believed that one should live one's life as one sees fit with minimal direction from outside parties. That makes her willing to consider and challenge ideas on their own merits, rather than fitting them into a prefabricated political or world view. She is essentially a visual artist with a strong critical streak.

Our hostess may have a libertarian streak, but she is definitely not a libertarian:

I am struck -- you may think it is absurd for me to be suddenly struck by this -- but I am struck by how deeply and seriously libertarians and conservatives believe in their ideas. I'm used to the way lefties and liberals take themselves seriously and how deeply they believe. Me, I find true believers strange and -- if they have power -- frightening.

FullMoon said...

Bob Ellison said... [hush]​[hide comment]

If you say something stupid around here, you get picked up, stuck like a pig, and waved over hot coals. Possibly by the Professor herself.

Lefty/PC types are not trained in how to handle that. Righties have had to deal with it for a long time. We love that! Makes us tougher.


Some of the lefties do such a good job of aggravating some regulars that calls for Althouse to ban them or delete their comments appear. Sad!

Steve said...

As an Intapundit Style Libertarian, I can say that a bunch of us started reading Althouse when she was the special guest blogger at instapundit.com. Prof. Althouse was a great lawblogger and we stuck around. The comment section was dominated by ghosts and drill instructors and presidentes. It used to be fun. It has started to drag with the invasion.

Be a lefty commenter but be interesting and witty.

Seeing Red said...

The mask was off in the 60s. It's off again.

Bill Ayres or his brethren said a vile vile horrendous thing back then, and as a child I Internalized it. I also grew up in a household discussing politics somewhat.


He said to jumpstart the revolution, kids need to kill their parents.

I remember thinking why would I want to kill my parents?


He never EVER changed, that pampered son of white rich privilege. The house where Barry launched his political career.


That cult is nothing but death and destruction. That is history.

What I think, Professor, is you've had the opportunity to finally, in your cruel neutrality, (teehee) is to take a step or 3 back and finally listen.

Of course, once again, it's hard to ignore the temper tantrum.

Seeing Red said...

Aggravating?

Nope-boring.

Seriously, I agree with Steve.

AReasonableMan said...

Steve said...
Be a lefty commenter but be interesting and witty.


As a moderate I would like to see these standards applied universally. The right wing trolls are not exactly Dorothy Parker.

campy said...

Fox Milwaukee on the meteor.

Is there film of Julian Edelman catching it?

Rick said...

Ann Althouse said...
Meade is socially conservative??

Where do you get that?

I just asked him what he thought that could refer to. He said "Personal responsibility?" And, sarcastically: "Oh, that's so socially conservative."


You and Meade are both wrong. This might not have been a disqualification for the left 50 years ago. But since then the left has moved so much further left that personal responsibility is conservative, as is not bankrupting the country and taking national security seriously. They keep telling you this and you refuse to accept it because it conflicts with your sense of self.

Some introspective cruel neutrality might be in order.

Seeing Red said...

Bwaaaa ARM thinks he's a moderate.

And Dan Rather thought he was in the middle, too!

Michael K said...

"The right wing trolls are not exactly Dorothy Parker."

As I said, you are getting more radical. Too bad.

Michael K said...

I would like to second the link to The Thug Life at City Journal.

s 2015 drew to a close, violence and anarchy had increased so dramatically that suspensions—though a last resort—finally began to rise. In December, Silva announced that first-quarter suspensions were the highest in five years. Seventy-seven percent involved black students, who make up 30 percent of the district’s student population. As public outrage mounted, families of all races began flooding out of the St. Paul district to charters and suburban schools. Many families are saying that “their children . . . don’t feel safe even going to the bathroom,” Joe Nathan of the St. Paul–based Center for School Change told the Star Tribune in 2016. Parents were also troubled by district students’ declining reading and math scores. The district lost thousands of students, adding up to millions of dollars in lost state aid.
Asians, the St. Paul district’s largest minority, especially resented the new discipline regime.


Thank god DeVos is coming.

Guest videos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Guest videos said...

I have been an nearly daily reader on this blog since the typing cockroach regularly commented. A long time. I have commented a few times anonymously (which required logging in with a different address - and I am inherently lazy) and, if my comment was not thought out, have been raked over the coals. I love it. Keep it up, folks.

BTW, the "outright misogynistic" comments are probably directed at the "appeal the 19th amendment" folks (you know who you are). I have always understood it as "A Modest Proposal" and not taken these comments that seriously. But, that comes with years of seeing the same commenters at work.

Roughcoat said...

I'm not sure what people mean when they use the term "social conservative." I want to be the man my father and grandfather were. They were pure Midwest German immigrant stock: decent in every way, hardworking, quiet, and quietly funny. They had an instinctive distrust of big-mouths of every political stripe. They were good, strong men. They believed in giving people a fair shake and they believed people should earn the fair shake they gave them. And, I'm against abortion because (among other things): Catholic. Or am I Catholic because I'm against abortion? Anyway ... does all that make me a social conservative? If so, I'll cop to it.

Seeing Red said...

Mmmeeeeeeeee!!!


I'm female.


My sex embarrasses me.

And for some odd reason, here, they want to keep digging.

PB said...

What is the "center"?

The majority of "conservative" views are what would rightly be considered center by many people, the rule of law, due process and equal treatment under the law. the "liberal" views are increasingly the rule of men, screw due process if it doesn't achieve the desired outcome, and continued tilting the playing field in favor of partisan positions through any means necessary, oh, and violence/might is right.

LarsPorsena said...

What ever happened to Garage Mahal?

rcocean said...

"I grew up thinking it was the people of the left who were courageously free and expressive."

Yeah, its like what Henry Ford said: "Your Model T can any color you want, as long as its black".

Scott Adams stated that expressing pro-Trump sentiments in the SF East Bay was dangerous, and he wasn't joking.

rcocean said...

Althouse has stated she was a social liberal ever since the blog began. And IRC, the only Republican she voted for was Bush II and possibly Ford.

CStanley said...

My impression is that both Ann and Meade are classical liberals and that Ann identified more closely with the tribe of the left for a longer time than did Meade, but both have had the scales drop from their eyes. I could very well be wrong, of course- I know little about them personally and even less about their past lives, but this is how it comes across to me.

Classical liberals and conservatives can have very congenial conversations and find a lot of common ground because both see the glaring hypocrisies of progressives who hijack liberal movements. At some point, libertarians (who often think of themselves as liberals but insist on an ideological framework which doesn't sit well with non-libertarian classical liberals) and conservatives (who admire and want to emulate classical liberalism except where it conflicts with their ideology) will come to crossroads in those conversations- but can often part ways without rancor. It's really the progressives and the classical liberals who can't agree to disagree with each other.

Kevin said...

"If anything, Meade and I are a little conservative about some economic things."

Oh that's so pre-2000. The political window has shifted so much in the intervening years that "conservative", which is no longer a descriptive word but a pejorative one, means "anyone who doesn't believe Trump is a Nazi and therefore should be hated with the intensity of 10,000 suns".

You and Meade are not only conservative by today's definition, but also right-wing white supremacists based on your skin color.

Welcome to the deplorables!

steve uhr said...

The conservative commentators are way to quick to go personal, often viciously. Instead of defending their positions on the merits. They also seem to have trouble with the concept that one can be left on some issues and right on other issues. Which is odd given Ann is in that category.

Dennis said...

Althouse: "I grew up thinking it was the people of the left who were courageously free and expressive. Not so! It's a profound disappointment in my life."

Same here. I was always a Democrat, still am. But I started to doubt my party when Clarence Thomas got railroaded so many years ago, and tuned into critiques to figure out why (Limbaugh, Prager, Hewitt). Classical Liberal? Maybe. "I didn't leave the party, it left me." I've been reading Instapundit after 9-11 and that's how I found Althouse. Libertarian? The label is too diverse to know. I've lived in the heart of LA and NYC and free thinking is not welcome in either place. So the communities in blogs like Instapundit and Althouse are my only respite. I long for a Reformation of the Democratic Party, and I hope it happens within my lifetime. That's why I'm still registered as a Democrat.

Original Mike said...

"What ever happened to Garage Mahal?"

He posted awhile back that he was sick of politics and had grown to hate lefties.

William said...

Just recently I read a collection of essays by Bernard Lewis called From Babel to Dragomans. Lewis is a scholar who has spent his life studying Islam. The essays were written in the seventies, eighties, and nineties. What struck me was not just how wrong headed the various mass movements of the Mideast were but how wrong Lewis was in his predictions about the viability and endurance of all those movements. Pan-Arabism, the Ba'ath Party, the Muslim Brotherhood, Marxism, Wahhabism. They come and go and leave their believers worse off, and those scholars who comment on their inevitability or promise look foolish. The only inflexible rule about Mid East politics that I can glean is that all change there is for the worse........The larger lesson that applies to all of us is that most of us are wrong most of the time about most things. The issues we care about with the most vehemence are empirically unknowable. It would, therefore, behoove us to advance our opinions with a certain amount of deference and tact. This applies especially to the left wing commenters here who are stupid poop heads.

Michael K said...

"And, I'm against abortion because (among other things): Catholic. "

I am pro-choice having seen some horrendous consequences of illegal abortions as a student before abortion was legal.

I even did a couple when I was a resident and working in the GYN clinic. Nobody liked doing them and I thought I should try to do my share. That was 1969 and it was legal in California but the woman had to have a psych consult.

I think 20 weeks should be the cutoff, as it is in Europe. I also think a women who has three should be sterilized at that point. I have seen women who have had seven abortions.

AprilApple said...

Progressives insist you live and adapt to their statist religion, or YOU are the racial.

Michael K said...

"The conservative commentators are way to quick to go personal, often viciously."

You may mean me but my comments about Ritmo and MacDonalds are sarcasm as we see so many lefty comments that assume things with no evidence to back them up. Right leaning comments often have links to supporting sources.

I try to do so.

I didn't even know you were a lefty until you snarked at me the other day.

Birches said...

Althouse and Megan McArdle are the only comment sections worth wading through.

Known Unknown said...

"I said ARM was becoming far less rational and reasonable."

He vacillates from post to post. I like his contributions. I do miss Garage a bit. It was nice when he and other commenters who would normally call each other asshole would talk about fishing like old chums.

I have changed my handle twice. The first because of a Blogger mishap, and the second because I thought all the Unknowns around here reminded me of the brilliant Rumsfeld quote.



Unknown said...

I like Althouse and found her originally I think because I was looking for a conservative legal mind. Astonishingly, there really isn't very many conservative legal blogs. The "right of center" ones that are prominent are mostly libertarian. Volokh, even the BlogFather--socially liberal, economic conservatives. Ann's a liberal, but she was and is fair. Try commenting at Above the Law or something as a conservative. At the time, it was pointless.

The law industry is overwhelmingly Democrat and leftist. Ann's one of the few places where the conservative point of view can be expressed.

I make no illusions about Ann's social conservatism--she isn't-- but at least she allows our view to be heard. And I think and prophesy that at some point she'll find herself defending social conservatism and be astonished at herself. You know, when the day comes that the LGBT movement tries to ban Christians from serving as judges in California or something like that.

--Vance

Known Unknown said...

"Althouse and Megan McArdle are the only comment sections worth wading through."

Reason's Hit and Run is hilarious, and often at odds with the editorial staff. They are shedding stalwart commenters due to an overdose of Trump Derangement Syndrome and idiots like Shikha Dalmia not offering support of free speech (which is the absolute bedrock to a Libertarian like me.)

fivewheels said...

"If you say something stupid around here, you get picked up, stuck like a pig, and waved over hot coals. Possibly by the Professor herself."

I rather vividly remember making a bad comment a while back, based on my mistaken belief that I knew what a word meant when I didn't. Althouse succinctly slapped me silly in the space of a few words. I do think at a lot of places people get resentful of things like that, but most of us here appreciate the straightening out, as I did. It's certainly not universal or even common, really, but I think there's much more of the "can admit you were wrong" gene among commenters here.

Bill Peschel said...

I'm here strictly for Laslo.

Who's Ann again?

whswhs said...

Speaking as a fairly hard-core libertarian, I don't consider myself a social conservative in any sense. I would be quite happy with the cultural climate of California, where I have lived nearly my entire life, were it not so condescending, intolerant, and even fearful toward people who disagree with me.

These days my blog reading is Althouse, Hoyt, McArdle, and the various people who contribute to Samizdata, from whom I learn more about British and continental issues than American blogs are likely to tell me. What I really prefer is reasoned arguments, even if I disagree with them.

Unknown said...

The way McCardle's comments are threaded makes them unreadable for me. IMHO they are done properly here: strict chronology,no threading.

fivewheels said...

"Althouse and Megan McArdle"

Those are the only two sites where I maintain usernames (different ones) to comment with. I used to have a few at Slate, but they've become hysterical and worthless, and I was banned for polite dissent so many times by Double X that I've killed that bookmark (which I had had since the days of Kinsley and Kausfiles there).

jaydub said...

"Probably the worst mistake in Iraq was made by Schwartzkopf who negotiated a ceasefire with no diplomatic advice, The Iraq generals snookered him. I don;t know if Po=well gave him the OK to do that."

@MickaelK, it was more complicated than that. There were three major considerations that drove the ceasefire:

- The enemy slaughter that was occuring over the final 24 hours of the ground campaign was becoming unconscionable. The highway from Kuait City to the Iraqi border was the most visible part of that ongoing massacre (over 3500 fleeing vehicles destroyed,) but the remnants of the regular Iraqi forces still on the battlefield were also being annihilated, and these troops were largely conscripts and weren't putting up much of a fight. The ceasefire was firstly a humanitarian decision which is ironic given the inane "war crime" propaganda put forth by the left at the time. We were extremely concerned that continuing the war on the Kuwaiti side of the battle field could have approached violation of the Geneva Conventions, so we dialed back the slaughter even before the formal ceasefire. It was the right thing to do, as least as far as the enemy remnants in Kuwait went. However, the ceasefire decision was not made in theater, but by the President and Chairman of the JCS. Still, I don't know of any senior commander in theater who thought that was a bad decision.
- A probable mistake, however, was failing to engage the Republican Guard as it retreated across the Iraqi desert above the border since that could have prevented some of the subsequent war crimes perpetrated on the Shiites by Saddam. That said, at the time of the cease fire we had essentially reduced the smart weapon inventory in theater to the bare minimum necessary for force protection, primarily from Iran. (No one knew what Iran would do before, during or after the war, and a great deal of attention was properly given to ensuring that Iran did not engage the Arabian Gulf Battle Force or the docks in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi that we still needed.) Regardless, taking out the Republican Guard with second tier weapons on enemy terrain would likely not have been the cake walk some people think.
- Finally, the coallition's charter was the liberation of Kuwait, not the invasion of Iraq or the total distruction of the Iraqi military. We had significant Arab allies involved in the liberation of Kuwait, and it's difficult to tell what they would have done if we went past our charter and invaded Iraq. Also, apart from the carrier forces in the Gulf and Red Sea, all of the coalition air forces were flying from Arab bases, so Arab ally agreement was crucial.

I've thought about this alot over the last 25 years, and I always come back to the opinion that we did the right thing.

steve uhr said...

Michael - I wasnt thinking of you but I do think it is funny that you define a troll as anyone who disagrees with you.

isthmus legend said...

I know I'm only a sample size of one, however it's true, the vast majority of left/progressive blogs I've tried to comment on through the years either won't publish the comment or delete it. Usually, but not always, any kind of "unsafe" comment that is not prescribed by the left/progressive worldview will also trigger condemnation by the author. It's a sanctimonious thing, again unique to people who think this way.

Bottom line, left/progressive thinking people adhere to strict norm enforcement and conformity of opinion. Outsiders are not welcome.

For example, what follows is considered heretical: Pointing out that GRIDS (later re-branded as AIDS by guess who) was, in fact, initially identified amongst drug using homosexual men who were consolidated in dense urban metros (where it's easy to live marginal anonymous lifestyles, that you know, involve drugs and spreading disease via needles used to inject those drugs). That's a fact, it's documented. It's a dangerous fact that left/progressives have long played off as not a big deal, according to them. Actually, drugs and disease are a big deal. Healthy humans have evolved to avoid them. Which is very suggestive that some seek them out and their political allies constantly try to play these behaviors off as not a big deal. The mere idea that anyone should be punished for avoiding drugs and disease is ridiculous. And here we are, this is exactly what left/progressives do. While doing so, they subject the rest of us to high risk behavior. FU. Everyone gets it, "not all gay men have GRIDS." Correct, but we do know they group together, thus facilitating the risk of transmission through edgy lifestyle choices. SCIENCE!

Straight white males have nothing to do with noticing this fact. It's the fact that it WAS NOTICED, that will trigger a deletion of a comment and probably trigger a remark by the author of the blog claiming it's not true (it is true, according to SCIENCE!) and a charge of bigotry. Hey man, we're not the junkies, and we don't want it around our neighborhoods. Call us intolerant as much as you want. It's irrational, unethical, and stupid to subject others to your known high risk lifestyle.

That's the difference between the A-house blog, other blogs like it, VS lefty blogs. Night and day.

Lyin'PB_Ombudsman said...

"typing cockroach"

Definitely missed. The keyboard tics were awesome.


Steve said...

Michael K said:

I think 20 weeks should be the cutoff, as it is in Europe.

In Germany and France it is 12 weeks, later in pregnancy in cases of medical necessity.

AReasonableMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wildswan said...

Agree with the idea that Althouse and Meade are classical liberals. Interesting but not surprising that that is questionable in a university town. Conservative? I think not but perhaps in Madison "conservative" means badthink of any kind.

Agree with Laslo and CS Stanley on comments. And I'll add this - the commenters are diverse enough so that I get a real idea of how people I disagree with are thinking. Even the flood of leftys gives an insight - mainly because of their arrogant demands that comments be PC and Safe Space Certified. There's also that tendency to try to round up the "group" into a twittermob and attack someone who is trolling the left. It shows a lack of humor and it is so utterly useless. The phrase "herding cats" covers the spectacle of An Average Lefty Moron community-organizing Althouse commenters. But the attempt shows the world of An Average Lefty Moron these days.

They are the fascists they keep looking for.

AReasonableMan said...

steve uhr said...
The conservative commentators are way to quick to go personal, often viciously.


This is a tactic, to stifle debate. Unfortunately it has worked, in the limited sense that most left wing commenters have given up on the site, perceiving it to be over-run by right wing trolls.

Basil Duke said...

"I have seen women who have had seven abortions." Your typical Hillary/Bernie supporter would celebrate this wretch's lifestyle as a model for young American women. They would hug her and hand her some of our money and gushingly tell her that she's strong and that Uncle Donnie'll never win as long as warriors like her are out there, feet in the stainless steel stirrups every 13 months and exercising her God given rights. And these same shrikes and castrati stumble around here on this site smearing anyone as "sexist" and "misogynistic" who think that a woman who's had seven abortions should make some very serious lifestyle adjustments.

Amadeus 48 said...

Upon further reflection, I believe it is more accurate to refer to the dominant thought around Meadehouse as classical liberalism, a bias towards individual and negative liberty (everything that is not expressly forbidden is permitted) vs.positive liberty (only that which is permitted may be done). So I put Althouse and Meade firmly in the camp of the founders of our great country, who were largely classical liberals.

Original Mike said...

typing cockroach"

Blogging cockroach.

Amadeus 48 said...

ARM--Also, never go away.

AprilApple said...

Shall we cut and paste some of tolerant progressive commander CrankBall's angry personally insulting screeds. Whole paragraphs of personal insults.

Nobody tops it.

Laslo Spatula said...

steve uhr said...
"The conservative commentators are way to quick to go personal, often viciously."

Yeah, I hate it when people do that. Throwing accusations around, like racism, or -- say -- anti-semiticism.

I think most of this stems from insecurities about their sexual identity.

Not like I'm saying they are all transvestites or nothing.

It can be relaxing after a day at work to slip into some lingerie.

I am Laslo.

viator said...

Keynes: When the facts change I change my mind. What do you do, Sir?
The American left: I wouldn't change my mind if my life depended upon it (which it might). How are the leftist projects going? Detroit, Chicago, California? and many, many other localities? Is the idea to turn America into Detroit?

Michael K said...

"A probable mistake, however, was failing to engage the Republican Guard"

Agreed but it has also been pointed out that Schwartzkopf did not have any State people (who might not have been much help) there as he negotiated with the Iraqis.

" I do think it is funny that you define a troll as anyone who disagrees with you."

I think it's just as funny that you take the "troll" comment personally. I refer to the strange changing ID of posters with what sounds like DNC talking points.

I am struck by how few lefty commenters ever link to supporting sources.

I don't know if this is a characteristic of the left to rely on appeals to authority.

AReasonableMan said...

AprilApple said...
Nobody tops it.


You are too modest.

buwaya puti said...

I suspect they hate Althouse in Madison because underneath it all she threatens so many livelihoods. Politics is life these days.

Deirdre Mundy said...

I'm a conservative who reads Althouse because she is interesting. She frequently disagrees with conservatives, but she avoids ad hominem attacks, so she's a good read.

She's liberal-ish without being leftist, and she doesn't simply repeat a party line, on schedule, like many other bloggers do.

I think she attracts conservatives because in the free marketplace of ideas, she has a quality product.

Also, early on, Instapundit pointed people over here. So...we came, because Reynolds said "She is interesting!" And we stayed because he was right.

steve uhr said...

It really sucks that Ann has to put up with crap from strangers all the time. Do you ever give back? Do people ever ask for your autograph?

mockturtle said...

Do you ever give back?

Yes, she does, Steve. See 9:00AM.

You are just talking out of your ass, Freder.

AprilApple said...

Really - ARM? so once again you are full of it on behalf of the progressive lie.

I attack leftist bullcrap.

Ritmo/Balls/Crankshaft spews PERSONAL unhinged insults and venom.



ARM - the problem with you leftists is you cannot handle push back.

Michael K said...

I used to read and comment at Cathy Seipp's blog. I got to know her personally and miss her wisdom and humor. I went to her funeral.

I used to read and comment at Patterico and have met him but I have given up on him because he kind of went native about Cruz and Trump. His blog is still unreadable to me.

Too bad. Still a NeverTrumper like Bret Stephens at WSJ.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rick said...

This is a tactic, to stifle debate. Unfortunately it has worked, in the limited sense that most left wing commenters have given up on the site, perceiving it to be over-run by right wing trolls.

Most left wing commenters left because they had nothing to add and were only here to attack the right. For most people this is insufficient motivation to maintain interest over a long period.

Roughcoat said...

"And, I'm against abortion because (among other things): Catholic. "

I am pro-choice having seen some horrendous consequences of illegal abortions as a student before abortion was legal.


I'm against abortion but I don't think the legal prohibition of abortion will work. Limited prohibition, i.e. no abortion after a certain date, seems feasible. But ultimately the only way to end abortion is to change hearts and minds. I'm not interested in undertaking a legislative crusade to overturn Roe v. Wade or to totally ban abortion because such efforts are doomed to fail and will not accomplish the purpose of saving unborn children. We can only proceed with sorrow for those children and work to change hearts and minds. It's going to take a very long time and it won't be easy. Having said that, I resolve to never again mention or discuss abortion on this blog.

mockturtle said...

Guest videos said: A long time. I have commented a few times anonymously (which required logging in with a different address - and I am inherently lazy) and, if my comment was not thought out, have been raked over the coals. I love it. Keep it up, folks.

After my first post on this blog someone called me a shithead. I saw it as a kind of rite of passage.

Biff said...

"so many social conservatives in it, ranging from instapundit-style libertarians..."

Instapundit-style libertarians are social conservatives? That's news to me!

Jack Wayne said...

FWIW, the worst sites to comment are the climate sites that push global warming. You are deleted almost before you finish typing. WattsUpWithThat is a remarkable climate skeptic site that has some of the most knowledgeable commenters I've seen. And the only place I've been banned from is Redstate. That is an absolutely pitiful place to go.

Lyin'PB_Ombudsman said...

Speaking of the roach, this is tagerrific:

https://althouse.blogspot.com/2008/11/sir-archy-archy-and-blogging-cockroach.html

steve uhr said...

When someone jokes about Jews being stingy insects with big noses, and then claims he is not anti-Semitic because he jokes about anal sex with Scarlett Johanson, I think it is not unreasonable to call such person antiSemitic. But reasonable minds may differ I suppose.

Roger Sweeny said...

@Roger, Freder is not merely an asshole, he is actually a spherical asshole because no matter which direction you look at him from, he's still a total asshole.

Now deal with it.


I will deal with it by trying to treat him like an intelligent well-meaning person.

Freder Frederson said...

If anything, Meade and I are a little conservative about some economic things. But social conservative? You are just talking out of your ass, Freder.

Actually you're right. I didn't mean to modify"conservative" with "socially". My bad

mockturtle said...

Steve uhr is all process and no product.

Bob Ellison said...

fivewheels said, 'It's certainly not universal or even common, really, but I think there's much more of the "can admit you were wrong" gene among commenters here.'

Right. It's part of the murderous rudeness thing over here, or whatever it's called. You have to step up and say your piece and prepare to be slapped down like the little kid you know you are. Or else delete it before you post.

Laslo Spatula said...

steve uhr said...
2/6/17, 11:06 AM

Nice way of side-stepping the substance of my replies to you.

You either are not capable of reading with comprehension statements such as this:

"I was pointing out that the word choice of the headline in question could be seen as a slur against Jews, which I believed was intentional: the headline had "Jews buzzing" and I said "Just hits my ear wrong..."

Or you are being purposefully dishonest.

With your rearrangement of my words I am leaning to the latter.

Good luck on your Internet Nazi Hunts. I'm sure you will find the Secret Handshake.

I am Laslo.

Bob Ellison said...

Michael K said, "I used to read and comment at Cathy Seipp's blog."

Oh, man. That lady could write. This is the most devastating piece of media criticism I've ever read.

What a loss, at a young age.

Roger Sweeny said...

And I think and prophesy that at some point she'll find herself defending social conservatism and be astonished at herself. You know, when the day comes that the LGBT movement tries to ban Christians from serving as judges in California or something like that.

No. That's the time to defend freedom of religion and the rest of (more and more) old-fashioned liberalism.

Old-fashioned liberalism allows you to be socially conservative if you wish and socially liberal, or even radical, if you wish. Just don't scare the horses.

Freder Frederson said...

This is the sort of thing that the left often thinks is argument. "War Crimes" is a rallying cry for the clueless left.

Although I am willing to accept the argument that the invasion itself a war crime,that is debatable. I am more concerned with the documented war crimes that occurred after the invasion. (E.g., torture,including torture of legitimate pies, hiding detainees from the IRC, etc)

Todd Galle said...

I'm a regular reader, but seldom comment, as most threads have past the 'use by' dates by the time our family is home, fed, and comfortable. I do enjoy the wide range of knowledge provided by many readers of whatever political stripe. With doctors, lawyers, engineers, business owners, etc. most topics are covered from a wide variety of professional perspectives that I would be hard pressed to find in my small Harrisburg, PA suburb even if they could be gathered together.

Freder Frederson said...

stupid auto-correct POWs not pies

James L. Salmon said...

The only comment sections I ever actually read anymore are the ones here and at the Powerlineblog. The rest are virtually unreadable. Really enjoy Ann's blog posts. I try to read her blog posts on a regular basis, along with columns by Glenn Reynolds USA today column, VDH, Megan McArdle, and a handful of others. As a busy professional I have zero time to suffer through the New York Slimes, the Washington Compost and similar drivel.

Bob Ellison said...

"...documented war crimes that occurred after the invasion. (E.g., torture,including torture of legitimate pies..."

I'm having trouble parsing that. An apple pie might be legitimate in most venues, but probably a pork pot pie would have trouble in the Middle East. Or it could be a mincemeat pie-- never legitimate in my book.

buwaya said...

"WattsUpWithThat is a remarkable climate skeptic site that has some of the most knowledgeable commenters I've seen."

And Watt doesn't ban Global Warmers. There are some there that do argue numbers, more or less reasonably.

Michael K said...

"Having said that, I resolve to never again mention or discuss abortion on this blog."

It's amusing (and I won;t mention it again) but Inga attacked me for saying that I done abortions at one time.

She, of course, is pro-abortion right up to the age of two.

Freder, I don't think the actions of the idiot reservists at Abu Ghraib amounted to much if that is what you referred to as "torture."

At one time there was a blog by a senior master sergeant from Utah about his time serving in a POW enclosure after Gulf War I. He was very sympathetic to Iraqi officers and made some friends. After his deployment ended, his blog went away but it was a very good peek into the situation right after the war.

I am unaware of any documented torture of Iraqis by US forces.

exhelodrvr1 said...

The comments at the pjmedia/richardfernandez are quite good, but they have the format that is hard to follow.

Laslo Spatula said...

From the Diaries of an Internet Nazi Hunter (excerpt)…

7:32. A blog about Interior Decoration. Commenter went on about lampshades. Lampshades: of course. Like I don't know what you are inferring.

7:49: A blog about Households. Commenter went on about the satisfaction of spraying roaches with Raid. Cockroaches and Poison Gas. Blatant.

8:14: Had another cup of coffee. Looked up "Maxwell House" to see what they did during World War Two. One man's 'House' is another man's Internment Camp. Inconclusive.

8:22. A blog about Choosing the Right Doctor. Yeah, and that 'Right Doctor' best not be Jewish. They didn't say that in so many words, of course, but it is what they didn't say that said it all. Stock photo of blonde male (Aryan?) in Doctor's smock. Not surprised they didn't mention Dr. Mengele in the article.

8:48. A blog about Modern Christianity. They all think they found the Messiah. A few throw out the "Jewish Carpenter" line, but I know that is just a fig leaf. For them Christ was a Good Jew like Michael Jordan was a Good Black.

9:02: Bowel movement. Did part of a crossword puzzle during the event. 22-Across was particularly anti-Semitic. Also: 4-Down.

I am Laslo.

mockturtle said...

;-D Laslo!

Michael K said...

Fernandez is now doing more on facebook than his blog.

He is my go to guy on most things.

mockturtle said...

Freder, I don't think the actions of the idiot reservists at Abu Ghraib amounted to much if that is what you referred to as "torture."

Exactly. What a tempest in a teapot that was! Reminds me of Monty Python's Spanish Inquisition skit where a women was 'poked repeatedly with soft cushions' and a man forced into a comfy chair.

Brando said...

Generally the commenting here is pretty good, and the signing in policy is easy (hopefully that doesn't mean we can get hacked easily!), and usually the blog posts themselves are thoughtful so it's one of the few sites I bother commenting on. The back and forth is usually good, and while sometimes it drops down to personal attacks or bad faith strawman arguments most discussion here stays on the level. I read it for several years before starting to leave comments.

Ann strikes me as a socially liberal, somewhat economically conservative blogger who midway through last year became a Trump fan but not a crazed one. Her take is worth reading as it's not through a Trump-hating or Trump-worshipping slant, just a mildly pro-Trump slant (and worth reading for my own Trump-critical perspective). Most commenters seem conservative, ranging from Trump-worship to Trump-friendly to Trump-critical to Trump-hating. Then there's a few genuine liberals (Robert Cook is a good one as he seems consistent in his liberalism), and I'm sure some trolls thrown in there just to stir things up (maybe not Putin plants but maybe some of Ann's professor buddies screwing with her blog! We're through the looking glass, people!). Wouldn't mind seeing some more liberals in the mix though, as on some issues it feels like the rest of us are just agreeing on everything and not really duking it out.

My impressions, anyway, FWIW.

Original Mike said...

Freder said ..."Although I am willing to accept the argument that the invasion itself a war crime,that is debatable. I am more concerned with the documented war crimes that occurred after the invasion. (E.g., torture,including torture of legitimate [POWs]"

Who are you referring to?

Drago said...

steve uhr: "When someone jokes about Jews being stingy insects with big noses, and then claims he is not anti-Semitic because he jokes about anal sex with Scarlett Johanson, I think it is not unreasonable to call such person antiSemitic."'

LOL

Even Mel Brooks was falsely accused of anti-semitism because he refused to follow that approved Soviet line on what was acceptable humor.

And now we have "Internet Nazi Hunter" Steve Uhr on the job shouting "j'accuse!" at Laslo for the crime of being amusing in a way that the State Censors disapprove.

Good old Steve Uhr. Hopelessly moronic in a rather sad way.

Richard Dolan said...


"I believe that most lefties — including almost everyone I know in Madison — regard me as conservative because of this blog. Many of these people express hostility openly or in a thinly veiled way."

Political categories don't really describe the reality well anymore. I suspect the lefties in Madison regard you as an apostate, who regularly blasphemes against the revealed truth of lefty-ism. Since the imperative is to accept revealed truth without question, and you have often denied basic tenets of lefty-faith, your apostasy is compounded by heresy. You're lucky that the penalty is just a mild form of shunning. As in Berkeley and elsewhere, fundamentalists of the Lefty Church have no problem using more direct forms of punishment against sinners of your ilk.

Ann Althouse said...

If you like the more creative style of comments and want more stuff like the old cockroach, why don't you adopt a persona and a pseudonym and write it yourself.

I think it was Benjamin Disraeli who said "if I want to read a good book, I'll write one."

Mary said...

I first discovered Ann’s blog through Andrew Sullivan years ago, I would tune in every once and a while because I think it’s an interesting blog and I’m also a Bob Dylan fan, but for the past year it’s been more frequent, and I’ve even left a couple comments! I haven’t commented much in the past because I feel like I’m in a room filled with Archie Bunkers. Who says Lefty? It’s a hostile environment for liberals, but I’ll take my chances if I feel it’s important enough to speak up. oh and not paid by Soros, that would be tagged under fake news

n.n said...

Professor Althouse is a constellation of principles that is not unexpectedly oriented by special and peculiar interests. To her credit, she rarely raises a veil to obfuscate reality. She is an "honest broker" that covers topics left, right, center, and universal, which invites people to join in a community atmosphere that ranges from the frivolous to existential.

As for me, I would like to reconcile moral, natural, and personal imperatives... and to occasionally stop and smell the roses, thorns and all.

Laslo Spatula said...

From the Diaries of an Internet Nazi Hunter (excerpt)…

9:16. A blog about Home Improvement. Article about changing shower-heads. The unsaid guilt is obvious. You can change the shower-heads all you want, it is never going to change history.

9:33. A blog about Travel. Compares modern coach seating in planes to cattle-cars. Cattle-cars: really? They went there? Uncomfortable flying to Hawaii is like being crammed on a train to Dachau? The slippery slope of Holocaust Denial, topped with a lei.

9:47. A blog about Beauty Secrets for Ethnic Women. Blacks, Mexicans, South Americans, Asians -- even Arabs (!) in the photos; of course, no Jews. Relegated to the Beauty Ghetto, as usual. Didn't even make the token attempt of throwing in a picture of Scarlett Johannson or Natalie Portman. And Giselle Bundchen is NOT Ethnic! She is South American Aryan! Note to self: look up Giselle's heritage. Wouldn't be surprised to see a Nazi in her family tree.

10:04: Painful urination. NOT RELATED TO CIRCUMCISION!

I am Laslo.

AReasonableMan said...

Mary said...
Who says Lefty?


Interesting question.

Lyin'PB_Ombudsman said...

I don't think those sorta voices can scamper these parts anymore. Not enough exploded Frankfurter parts stuck to the wall behind the stove to feed such delicate souls. This is the DJT era.

walter said...

Jack Wayne said:..a blog that does not delete comments like so many lefty sites do.
--
Au contraire..

Michael K said...

"I first discovered Ann’s blog through Andrew Sullivan years ago,"

I used to read and comment on Andrew's blog until he went nuts when Bush declined to support gay marriage.

Ann is also a gay marriage supporter but in a way that is not annoying.

I really don;t care but am annoyed by lefty baker and flower arranger attacks.

The Prop 8 thing in California was shameful.

Michael K said...

Mary said...
Who says Lefty?

Interesting question.


I do because few lefties are liberal anymore. Dershowitz is liberal.

AJ Lynch said...

Alshouse wrote:

"I believe that most lefties — including almost everyone I know in Madison — regard me as conservative because of this blog. Many of these people express hostility openly or in a thinly veiled way.

It's really bad!

I grew up thinking it was the people of the left who were courageously free and expressive. Not so! It's a profound disappointment in my life."

This is a damn shame that someone as even keeled as Althouse gets the evil eye and maybe more from her fellow Madisonians.

Sigivald said...

"What I've wondered for a long time is why the comments section has so many social conservatives in it, ranging from instapundit-style libertarians to outright misogynists"

Libertarians are SoCons now?

News to, well, pretty much everyone in both big-and-little-l libertarian circles.

Drago said...

Mary: "I haven’t commented much in the past because I feel like I’m in a room filled with Archie Bunkers."

What other fictional characters do you feel are surrounding you?


Mary: "Who says Lefty?"

Those attempting, even though it's getting more difficult day after day, to differentiate between tolerant "liberals" and the totalitarian leftists.

It looks as if the totalitarian left is winning that battle on the dem side.

You can now go back to pretending it's all just too much to figure out.

Mary said...

Drago: "You can now go back to pretending it's all just too much to figure out."
What'd I tell ya. Hostility.
Because you don't want me here.

etbass said...

I have been an interested auditor of the blog for quite a few years and a very occasional commentor. It is clear to me that Althouse is not leftist but a classical social liberal. Her position on three issues confirms this for me:

1. Pro gay marriage
2. Pro choice
3. Strong feminist

Despite a few times when her stake in the gay marriage issue seemed to condition her posts and related remarks, she is fair, tolerates an incredible amount of criticism, posts interesting material and comments cogently, nearly always. Her energy is amazing.

And I agree with her views about men in shorts, although I wear them myself at times.

Yancey Ward said...

I think Laslo probably hits on one of the characteristics of the comment section- my sense is that at least 75% of us are age 40 and older, and I might be underestimating that percentage.

Michael K,

I was also a long time reader of Drum's, and actually starting commenting on his blog when he moved to Washington Monthly, though I had lurked for years previously- he never had a large number of commenters from the right, but there were a core of them, about 10 or so who were not trollish, some of whom comment here on occasion- Michelle Dulak Thomson, Bruce Hayden, I think, come to mind. I noticed the same thing- around 2006, I started to notice comments vanishing that I had replied to. After the move to Mother Jones, it became far worse, so I removed the bookmark around 2009 or so if memory serves, and now only read him when following a link from elsewhere. I don't really buy Drum's excuse- if one is the blogger, surely one has some input to the moderation- otherwise one is spineless.

Henry said...

@sigivald -- perfectly good catch. I try hard for compression in my comments, but that is an arguably unclear juxtaposition. To expand, Glenn Reynolds presents himself as a pragmatic libertarian, but as a political commentator he has own set of hobby-horses. Instapundit is also a group blog now and throws off increasing numbers of links to run-of-the-mill conservative idealogues.

AReasonableMan said...

Mary said...
What'd I tell ya. Hostility.


Just call him a faggot a few times and it'll all be square. No PC around here.

Rick said...

Mary said...
What'd I tell ya. Hostility.


To reach the conclusion this is some sort of problem don't you first have to believe your question "Who says Lefty?" isn't hostile? It is. This is overstating nothing in an effort to "other" those you don't like.

This is typical. Commenters from the left routinely show hostility so ingrained they don't recognize it (or more likely just don't care) even as they are hypersensitive to the response-in-kind. Hence their demand for safe spaces pre-cleared of opposing views.

Michael K said...

"Because you don't want me here."

We are tolerant of most commenters who bring something of value. I don't want trolls but they are here and I have nothing to do with it.

As others have pointed out, there are consequences for making dumb comments, such as Field Marshal Freder opining on military strategy.

You seem to be seeking some sort of safe place where bunnies and puppies will protect you.

Birches said...

@ known unknown
Sometimes I read the hit and run comments,but I've never left a comment there. The reason community is pretty amusing sometimes. And yes, I've caught wind of the community being out of sync with the writers, especially Elizabeth Nolan Brown.

Yancey Ward said...

Laslo owes me a new keyboard for the Nazi Hunter blog. Fucking hilarious! I wish I had that kind of talent.

Michael K said...

Mary, you might be interested in why some people call lefties, lefties.

Leftists don’t merely disagree with you. They don’t merely feel you are misguided. They don’t think you are merely wrong. They hate you. They want you enslaved and obedient, if not dead. Once you get that, everything that is happening now will make sense. And you will understand what you need to be ready to do.

You are normal, and therefore a heretic. You refuse to bow to their idols, to subscribe to their twisted catechisms, to praise their false gods. This is unforgivable. You must burn.

Crazy talk? Just ask them. Go ahead. Go on social media. Find a leftist – it’s easy. Just say something positive about America or Jesus and they’ll come swarming like locusts.


I'm not that paranoid but there is a point there. I see it on facebook.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Ann Althouse said...

I grew up thinking it was the people of the left who were courageously free and expressive. Not so! It's a profound disappointment in my life.


I'm a year or two younger than you, Ann, and I have suffered the same disappointment. In my teens and twenties I felt myself a member of the counterculture. In my shallow understanding, the representatives of conservatism were the guys with ties, blazers and short hair marching in lockstep, bombing dark people and infringing on my right to smoke dope. Their one concession to fashion was to grow sideburns, which made me laugh at them.

The only way for humanity to move forward, I thought, was if we all had the freedom to explore the entire range of thought. No such thing as a bad idea, blah blah blah. In this, I thought the counterculture was with me. Not so.

Feminists were not content with equality, it was superiority they sought. Equality of opportunity was insufficient for minorities, it was equality of outcome they sought. Freedom of thought was not merely discouraged, it was subject to the most intense hatred. My generation elected the most selfish, corrupt and cynical president in history, one William Jefferson Clinton. The fantasy of the sixties was just that.

So I found myself on the other side. I didn't choose this, I just woke up one day and realized that the narrative had moved on and didn't take me with it. Now I'm a wild-eyed Facebook Jeremiah ranting and getting unfollowed by people who know so much more than I do.

I feel sorry for that long-haired kid in Levi's bells and blue cambric shirt. He really meant well.

buwaya said...

"I think it was Benjamin Disraeli who said "if I want to read a good book, I'll write one."

Well, he tried, but didn't manage it.

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/20004

YMMV

Drago said...

Mary: "What'd I tell ya. Hostility.
Because you don't want me here"

Nonsense.

You are an absolute delight and my only regret in life is that I did not have the good fortune to cross paths with you earlier.

Let's not waste time now shall we? There is so much to talk about!!

Lyin'PB_Ombudsman said...

It was an error to type "delicate souls" up thread.

I realized the correct word immediately after hitting the publish button. But, since this was just one of a countless number of errors and sloppy comments, I let it stand as usual.

But, after reconsideration re the value of these now silent voices, it seems like the record should be corrected:

exquisite souls.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 232   Newer› Newest»