August 6, 2017

Does Senator Jeff Flake disrespect the people when he calls populism "a sugar high"?

It bothered me, but lets talk about it. Here's the context, on "Meet the Press" today (and pushing his new book "Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle"). From the transcript:
SEN. JEFF FLAKE: I think today conservatism has kind of been compromised by populism... So I think that just because we have the House, the Senate and the White House, we can’t rest easy and say that populism is a governing philosophy because I don’t believe that it is....

CHUCK TODD: Well, let me ask you this, what would you -- going in hindsight now -- what should the conservative movement have done in 2016 that they didn’t do?...

SEN. JEFF FLAKE: Well, I’m not denying that populism isn’t popular. That’s why it’s called populism. The problem is I think it’s first and foremost the duty of conservatives to tell the truth to the constituency and it’s easy to point to a shuttered factory and say, “Hey, if we’d just negotiated better trade deals, then those jobs would be there.” When really it’s automation and productivity gains. It’s much more complex and my concern is that populism is a sugar high and once you come off it, it’s particularly troublesome for the party. And so I wish that we would have been more truthful with the electorate in terms of what we can and what we cannot do in Washington....
The dictionary definition of "populism" is "The policies or principles of any of various political parties which seek to represent the interests of ordinary people." That's from the OED, which gives, as one of its examples, this sentence from Time Magazine from 1972:
Populism is a label that covers disparate policies and passions: among many others, New Deal reforms, consumer rage against business, ethnic belligerence.
I'm concerned about the expressions of contempt for ordinary people and democracy. I can see saying we need more structured principles and sane practicality, but it feels disrespectful to say "populism is a sugar high."

IN THE COMMENTS: CStanley has a solid, succinct answer to my question:
In the context of his full responses I thought he was saying that populism was a sugar high for the GOP because it's easier for them to get votes that way than to sell the harder truths. That seems less offensive than the way Althouse is interpreting it because it's a diss of the politicians, not the voters.

119 comments:

Unknown said...

Isn't the word disrespect a noun?

Achilles said...

Flake is going to be primaried out.

The GOPe wing that worked hand in hand with the corrupt DNC is going to be removed. Arizona must have a really awful primary system to give us two of the worst Senators in the party. Flake is right there with Murkowski and Capito and McCain.

tcrosse said...

Isn't the word disrespect a noun?

Long form of diss, among those who are woke.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

He is right that conservatives have never been populists.

Unknown said...

I think it's disrespectful to doubt that ordinary people would or could reject Trump's style of populism. I think it's disrespectful to doubt that ordinary Americans don't respect democracy because they reject Trump.

Flake is 100% correct. He's pretty brave to speak so honestly, we need more like him.

Hagar said...

"SEN. JEFF FLAKE: Well, I’m not denying that populism isn’t popular. "

Sen. Flake's thinking is as confused as his language?

Hagar said...

Another John McCain in the making? And a quite young one?

Ann Althouse said...

"Isn't the word disrespect a noun?"

Whoa. Who taught you that it's only a noun?

It's been used as a verb since the 17th century:

1614 G. Wither Sat. to King, Juvenilia (1633) 346 Here can I smile to see..how the mean mans suit is dis-respected.
1633 Bp. J. Hall Plaine Explic. Hard Texts ii. 11 If he love the one, hee must disrespect the other.
1683 W. Cave Ecclesiastici 231 (Basil) To honor him, and dis-respect his Friend, was to stroke a man's head with one hand, and strike him with the other.
1706 T. Hearne Remarks & Coll. 26 Apr. He was disrespected in Oxford by several men who now speak well of him.
1852 L. Hunt Poems Pref. 27 As if..sorrow disrespected things homely.
1885 G. Meredith Diana of Crossways I. 257 You will judge whether he disrespects me.

heyboom said...

Obviously the election showed that ordinary people didn't reject Trump's populism.

MaxedOutMama said...

What I chiefly object to is his inaccuracy rather than his word choice. Productivity and automation don't necessarily lead to shuttered factories. They may lead to less workers in the factories (and more workers in support/service functions), but they do not lead to shuttered factories on the whole. "Populism" is correct that the US has lost manufacturing share - and this shows in our balance of trade. It is about way more than the number of workers on a factory floor, IMO.

So my big beef with the Flake is that he is structuring a dialog in a way which purports to be honest and factual, but is at least partially dishonest and counterfactual. Perhaps that's why we have the "populism"? From puzzled fishing mayors to worried farmers to manufacturing workers to engineers, the common people experience a different reality than that accepted by our political elite.

Democracy is about debate. An effective democracy/party debates about reality. A failing democracy/party structures the debate so that it evades reality. Flake is not on the effective side in this segment.

He is also being rather ridiculous, which does insult and denigrate the people. If the problem were automation and productivity, how did the masses of factories start up over the border in Mexico? Either the US is unfriendlier to automation and productivity gains than Mexico, which could certainly be amended politically, or Flake is talking nonsense and using his description of populism to induce the press not to question his nonsense.

It is really a dire reproach to the US that Mexico has a thriving electronic manufacturing industry at this point, whereas ours has collapsed. Mexico too experienced rough competition from China, but the increase in Chinese wages over the last decade has made Mexico competitive again - especially in higher-value manufacturing:
https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/mexicos-manufacturing-sector-continues-grow

The rise in Chinese manufacturing costs represents a potential opportunity for the US, as well as for Mexico. The fact that Flake doesn't seem aware of this just means he is incompetent and ignorant. He is not worthy of my respect, and therefore his reproach implies nothing against me, my politics, or the politics of populism.

Fabi said...

This is how you got Trump.

Unknown said...

Thank goodness for McCain, Flake, Capito, Murkowski, and Collins, who display their principled stances daily and aren't swayed by Trump's threats.

readering said...

Build a Southern Wall paid for by Mexico, halve immigration, pull out of middle east, tax u.s. companies sending jobs abroad, jack up tariffs on imports from third world, import oil through the keystone pipeline, switch energy from renewable sources to coal, cut healthcare premiums without cutting benefits by replacing Obamacare . . . .

These are all things that helped Trump get elected because they're populist but they aren't realistic and folks will have withdrawal symptoms as the reality kicks in. That's what he means I think by the populist sugar high.

Unknown said...

"Obviously the election showed that ordinary people didn't reject Trump's populism."

Ordinary people also reject Trump. Who do you think we are? You think we all live on the coasts and are members of the monied elites? We are also ordinary Americans, who work, have families, no different than you except that we are able to discern a fraud when we see one.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Flake betrays himself as the sort of Republican that isn't comfortable with having the majority. Too many Republican senators would rather lean back and be told what to do by Democrats, the better to justify doing nothing, all the while whining about it. Flake will live to regret this, as the people of Arizona are not likely to put up with it from both of their senators. On the other hand, Murkowski, Collins and Tilis are more likely to be replaced by Democrats. Nobody likes pussies. Nobody likes traitors.

Crimso said...

Language changes. From the standpoint of an historian (which I'm not), it would look like language evolves. From the standpoint of someone in the midst of that evolution, it looks as though words like "populism" have suffered from some pollution.

Such changes are in the natural course of events, but when evolution of a word is the result of an attempt to redefine it for political or other ends (as opposed to the natural "drift" that occurs in language), then it's pollution and not evolution. Thinking based on polluted words results in polluted thinking. Polluted thinkers are easy marks for those who pollute the language even more.

As The Frank warned: "In all major socializing forces you will find an underlying movement to gain and maintain power through the use of words. From witch doctor to priest to bureaucrat it is all the same. A governed populace must be conditioned to accept power-words as actual things, to confuse the symbolized system with the tangible universe. In the maintenance of such a power structure, certain symbols are kept out of reach of common understanding--symbols such as those dealing with economic manipulation or those which define the local interpretation of sanity. Symbol-secrecy of this form leads to the development of fragmented sub-languages, each being a signal that its users are accumulating some form of power." Frank Herbert

Narayanan Subramanian said...

As Lois Bujold put it ... Miles Vorkosigan says about his father's governing style 'people before principles'

In 'Brothers in Arms'
. @Amazon.

A powerful statement indeed - it is life changing.

Henry said...

I suppose he could call it a shibboleth.

Ann Althouse said...

The phrase I have a problem with is "sugar high." It's saying to the people: What you mattered to you is false and frivolous. What you thought was basically nothing -- empty calories revved you up and now, you fools, you're going to crash.

Henry said...

Unknown said, " We are also ordinary Americans, who work, have families..."

Well said.

rcocean said...

Flake says he's proud to be called a "Globalist". Like McCain he wants to invade the world and invite the world.

He's always for amnesty/no border security, but told the Republican rubes the opposite when he ran for Senator in 2012.

You'll notice he babbles on and on about "populism" which he defines as being against trade deals. These trade deals are REALLY good things, but "people" are too stoopid to understand that. Of course, he never explains why running massive trade deficits in a "good thing". Or why outsourcing and losing jobs to overseas competition is a "Good thing". No, he just smugly states that its not just bad trade deals that lost all those jobs.

Well, okey, dokey Flake. What we really don't need is anymore elitism from Flakes.

And I think Flakes "Globalism" has less to do with what's good for the USA, then what's good for Wall Street, and Flake. No doubt like Cantor and some others, he'll have a nice cushy job at Goldman Sachs once he retires. Flake -the Wall Street flack.

Ann Althouse said...

"Whoa. Who taught you that it's only a noun?"

Maybe "disrespect" looks like that other word that you just know isn't supposed to be used as a verb: "impact." Something about that "ct" ending? But the truth is, "impact" has also been used as a verb since the 17th century.

Fussiness about this sort of thing — especially when you're "correcting" someone else (as opposed to making your own word choices) — is so likely to get you in trouble, it's not worth doing.

Birkel said...

The strange new respect UnknownInga64 Offers is fun.

Another account? Why?

Henry said...

You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of trade deals.

But the context that Flake actually provides is not trade deals, but "really it’s automation and productivity gains"



Henry said...

@Birkel -- I am legion.

Bill Peschel said...

"You'll notice he babbles on and on about "populism" which he defines as being against trade deals. These trade deals are REALLY good things, but "people" are too stoopid to understand that. Of course, he never explains why running massive trade deficits in a "good thing". Or why outsourcing and losing jobs to overseas competition is a "Good thing". No, he just smugly states that its not just bad trade deals that lost all those jobs."

This was one of the things that really upset me on the newspaper copy desk: that reporters were not making an effort to create the debate that so badly needs to be held.

And, yes, reporters can do that, by simply writing, "Flake refused to say why NAFTA was such a good deal when economists say it hollowed out manufacturing." Then you follow it with supporting material from economists.

After all, that's the same technique they use to criticize Republican pols. It's called framing the narrative. Only here, it would do some good.

Henry said...

-- the "i" referring to the respect, not the new account.

Fabi said...

"...except that we are able to discern a fraud when we see one."

Your perspicacity is plenary.

Khesanh 0802 said...

Obviously Flake still doesn't get it and he is supposed to be relatively savvy. There is a feeling of "populism" in the air because a large number of people in this country feel that they have been shortchanged or mistreated by the Federal government and have finally decided to do something about it.

I was reviewing some old bookmarked pages today and found one from IBD that each Senator and Congressman should keep in mind (excerpt):
"If you take California out of the popular vote equation, then Trump wins the rest of the country by 1.4 million votes. And if California voted like every other Democratic state — where Clinton averaged 53.5% wins — Clinton and Trump end up in a virtual popular vote tie. (This was not the case in 2012. Obama beat Romney by 2 million votes that year, not counting California.)

Essentially, excepting CA, there was a 3.4 million vote swing to Trump from Romney. Pure populism rarely generates that kind of enthusiasm.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

To a certain way of thinking, trade deficits are good because the exporting country has to park the money in US Treasury bonds, which helps to postpone the reckoning day for those running budget deficits in the US.

rcocean said...

"And, yes, reporters can do that, by simply writing, "Flake refused to say why NAFTA was such a good deal when economists say it hollowed out manufacturing." Then you follow it with supporting material from economists."

Great point.

Whenever some pol stops making arguments and starts labeling something as "xxx-ism" that's superbad (for some reason), you know they're full of bullshit.

You want to enforce the immigration laws?! That's crazy YOU NATIVIST!

You want to get a better deal on NAFTA?! That's crazy YOU POPULIST!

You want our Allies to pay more for their own defense?! That's crazy YOU ISOLATIONIST!

cubanbob said...

Flake like McCain campaigned promising the very same things that Trump campaigned on. Now he tells those voters that you tucked up. You trusted us. Every single Republican campaigned on those issues. Flake and the others like him need to be primaried. What are the Democrats going to campaign on? That we have a shortage of poor people? Not enough work for the welfare beauracrats? Not enough spending and not enough taxation? I'm sure that's a winning ticket for them.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Too much populism is a problem. Too little populism and you're indistinguishable from the mostly Leftist authority-loving "elites." When you wholly lose the trust of the people you're gonna have a bad time. You're Bill Kristol, siding with the "Deep State" over the Trump state/administration...why would anyone support you?
Too much nationalism is a problem. Too little nationalism ad you're indistinguishable from the mostly Leftist "transactional citizens"/citizens of the world who just happen to call themselves Americans today because that's what best fits their own (current) mood. You're Bret Stephens (or any of dozens of other prominent "conservatives") and you're perfectly happy to replace current Americans with any foreigner who wants to show up...why would anyone support you?

When the Republicans talk a big game but vote for Big Government--when they can't vote in ways that distinguish them from the Democrats...why should anyone support the Republicans?

You can have too much populism and you have too much nationalism but you can also have too little of both.

Trump's not a standard Republican, to say the least. These smart Republicans need to figure out why lots of people chose to vote for someone other than a standard Republican. If their only conclusion is "people are stupid" well, maybe those Republicans aren't all that smart.

How are Flake's constituents feeling about him lately?

Bob Boyd said...

Jeff Flakes
Low sugar, high fiber.
Like a push broom for the colon of the mind.

antiphone said...

Ordinary people also reject Trump.

Yes, the majority of voters rejected and continue to reject Trump. It's disrespectful to claim these voters are illegal aliens, but then it's not not surprising that a candidate who ran as an asshole would try to govern as the asshole in chief. He has a mandate.

Humperdink said...

Notice how quick the Sunday shows book a maverick. Maverick, as in an R, willing to trash the leader of his party.

wild chicken said...

The whole discussion is dishonest. Fifty years ago people said working in a mill or factory was a mind-numbing, living death. Such workers said they didn't want their kids going into it. The kids went to college and moved on. At least some did.

Then Nixon went to China. Rest is history.

Be careful what you bitch about.

Luke Lea said...
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dreams said...

If you're a Republican politician, you can get a lot of love from the liberal media by badmouthing your own fellow Republican politicians and the Republican voters. It seems to be addictive too, just look at John McCain's sorry performance down through the years.

Luke Lea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Luke Lea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Luke Lea said...

Ann needn't be concerned with contempt for ordinary people embodied in the negative connotations of the word populism. We have positive words, too. For instance, the word demagogue for a champion of the people. Or the word majority, which invariably commands respect. Vulgar, common, what's not to like?

mockturtle said...

I guess both of our Senators from AZ are Flakes. :-(

Mary Beth said...

Henry said...

I suppose he could call it a shibboleth.

8/6/17, 7:56 PM


But would he call it a sibboleth instead?

Darrell said...

Populism is the will of the voter. No wonder he doesn't like it. He lies every time he runs, but the day of reckoning is coming.

Jim at said...

"I think it's disrespectful to doubt that ordinary people would or could reject Trump's style of populism. I think it's disrespectful to doubt that ordinary Americans don't respect democracy because they reject Trump."

A batshit crazy leftist - who voted for Jill effing Stein, no less - claiming to speak for ordinary Americans.

Just when I think you can't get any more delusional.

You are so far out there, I'd think you're a parody of a leftist. Except I know better.

All the more the pity.

Drago said...

Unknown: "We are also ordinary Americans, who work, have families, no different than you except that we are able to discern a fraud when we see one."

And shoot up republican baseball practices.

And stab folks at rallies.

And attack cops.

And riot to shut down the speech of others, when you aren't busy burning whole city blocks at a time.

You know, just like everyone else.

Humperdink said...

Flake was born in Snowflake, AZ, the town named partially after his great, great grandfather, William J Flake.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Impact. Disrespect. Whatever. I'm just glad "efforting" quickly fell by the wayside.

rhhardin said...

It's not populism. It's anti-PC.

Every problem is made unsolvable by PC. You can't set up a system that will work with PC.

Gahrie said...

I'm concerned about the expressions of contempt for ordinary people and democracy

Concern about contempt for ordinary people..sure..that is the fundamental problem with politics today.

But the shift towards democracy is just as big a problem. Democracy is dangerous and unstable...there is a reason why our Founders feared it, and deliberately planned against it.

We need to return to our roots as a federal republic ruled by its citizens.

Repeal the remaining three Progressive Amendments as a start.

mockturtle said...

Flake was born in Snowflake, AZ, the town named partially after his great, great grandfather, William J Flake.

So he comes from a long line of Flakes. Now that I'm an Arizonan I will do what I can to prevent his re-election.

Etienne said...

Why is his name showing-up in the press every week? What's really going on here?

Sebastian said...

Flake, Flake, Flake . . .

Timing is a problem: when the GOPe has just delivered the big health-care fiasco, don't go about praising GOP "conservatism." We might think you don't mean it. We might think that when push comes to shove you won't follow through.

Tone is a problem: when your party has just won victories with substantial "populist" support, and you need some of those populists in the future, like it or not, it is stupid to insult them. Leave the patronizing by our inferiors to the Dems.

Substance is a problem: "Populism" can mean anything."The people" don't have a coherent political philosophy. When you start labeling stuff you don't like and attributing it to the stupid deplorables, you're not making a serious argument. Particularly when you use populism to vilify perfectly reasonable positions, like: immigration law needs to be enforced, immigration needs to be reduced, and assimilation needs to be stressed.


Joe said...

Populism is good when we agree with the populace, else it's bad.

Billy Hill said...

I'm surprised his approval is still at 18%, but I'm sure the GOP establishment will do all it can to get him reelected.

Bricap said...

Interesting he's from Snowflake originally. When one goes through Show Low, there is a sign for the turnoff to Snowflake. We would drive through Show Low on the way to a weekend of skiing in Sunrise when I was a kid. I haven't been through there in many years, and I hear more people are retiring to Show Low nowadays and building second homes there. Many of those eastern AZ towns between the reservations (Navajo and Hopi to the north, and Apache to the south) were settled by Mormons way back when. The Udalls came from this region, also.

Ken B said...

Fact is not a verb.

The Godfather said...

"Populism" can't mean just proposing policies that benefit, or are supposed to benefit, the people. In a democracy or a democratic republic every politician argues that the policies he/she supports benefit the people. Often what we call "populism" seems to involve fostering an us-against-them attitude. You could say that lower taxes will promote economic growth, or that higher taxes will pay for job training and lead to lower unemployment, and either argument might be popular, but neither would necessarily be called populist. But if you argue that "trade deals" allow foreign countries and fat-cat capitalists to prosper at the expense of hard-working Americans who will lose their jobs, then you might just be a populist. Your anti-trade deals policy might actually be a good policy that would benefit most Americans, but your hope is that it will get you elected because there are more voters who are afraid of losing their jobs than there are voters who are fat-cat capitalists who hope to profit from trade. In other words, "populism" isn't a particular kind of policy but a particular kind of style of political argument.

Michael K said...

Flake is a liar and phony. He has a book out titled "Conscience of a Conservative."

He is not one and does not have one.

Tell me if he has a primary opponent and Ill vote for him. I keep hoping Ducey appoints Martha McSally to McCain's seat when he retires or takes his dirtnap.

Michael K said...

He's up next year. Time for a good primary opponent.

Lewis Wetzel said...

"In other words, 'populism' isn't a particular kind of policy but a particular kind of style of political argument."
An appeal to the interests of the majority of voters is democracy, not populism.

antiphone said...

Unknown: "We are also ordinary Americans, who work, have families, no different than you except that we are able to discern a fraud when we see one."

...

Drago- And shoot up republican baseball practices.

And stab folks at rallies.

And attack cops.

And riot to shut down the speech of others, when you aren't busy burning whole city blocks at a time.

You know, just like everyone else.


There's your PC, right there. If you didn't vote for our candidate and don't support him you are guilty, by association, for every crime committed by anyone who opposes his agenda. Want to call it Patriotically Correct? It doesn't make any difference. It's not just hypocrisy, it's bullshit as well.

Big Mike said...

Flake, like my own Congress critter Barbara Comstock, seems to believe that the best approach to winning his thought-to-be-tough reelection campaign is to run away from Donald Trump and present himself as a sort of Democrat-light. It doesn't seem to be working for Comstock here in the western end of her district, and I doubt it will work for Flake. He needs to be primaried, not as punishment, but because otherwise we'll lose the seat.

buwaya said...

Antiphone,

The problem Drago is pointing out is that the liberal-leftward fringe is disproportionately likely (and vastly so) to express their opinions in violent ways.

It means either the violent and extreme "tail" of the population on that side is much larger, or the violence cutoff is further toward the center. Either is a bad indicator for the state of mind of the whole.

antiphone said...

A batshit crazy leftist - who voted for Jill effing Stein, no less - claiming to speak for ordinary Americans.

Ordinary American's can vote for whomever they please and in many cases they do. Unlike so many Trump voters who say, "we had no choice, Hillary made us do it". There's always someone else to blame for people who wont take responsibility for their own choices.

wildswan said...



Everyone who lives in a town which once had factories knows that they moved to Mexico and China following trade deals. Perhaps they automated while there so that even if they moved back they would not have as many jobs as when they left but that's a separate issue. Furthermore, suppose that automation is causing job loss. Then why support high immigration? - the economy is losing jobs through an inevitable process, so why bring in low skill people?

The mining industry was failing due to Obama's regulations which were designed to shut the mines thus handing American jobs to the likes of North Korea. Trump has repealed the most onerous regulations and the industry is booming.

If you think that what Trump has done is all a "sugar high", then why not run in the Republican primary, on a promise to reverse everything Trump has done.
Promise to stop fracking by regulating it out of existence. Sure, it's powering the economy and helping revive manufacturing and how sweet it is not to depend on Saudi Arabia - but that's just a sugar high
Promise like Hillary, to wipe out all coal mining jobs (and giggle with joy at the prospect. That's not being like a Deplorable on a sugar-populism high, that's responsible globalism.)
Promise an unlimited flow of illegal aliens - 400 or 500 thousand a year. Simply explain that they don't take away jobs. Even though they are employed at higher rates than blacks.
Black employment is way too high - but I think you could just dodge and duck away from that fact - plenty of others are doing just that so you have many to emulate. And when you get away with spreading misery among your fellow Americans thanks to being part of the gobblement - oh, that's a high you have to feel to believe.
Promise to appoint liberal judges - just quietly explain that Christians, especially men, are vile bigots who should be excluded from consideration as judges.
Promise to support Planned Parenthood - yes, it's wiping out the blacks but no one makes them go in those doors. They simply look at their economic prospects - which are not good what with automation, Chinese competition, and illegal immigrants by the hundreds of thousands pouring in - and then they make a free choice. Which taxpayers should pay for.

It's all quite simple. If you think Trump supporters are on a sugar high - well, just speak the truth about your plan bring them down with a good dose of globalist chemotherapy.

Fabi said...

antiphone completely missed the point of Drago's comment. It contains no assigned guilt by association -- only concrete examples which dispel the claim of being "no different than you".

antiphone said...

The problem Drago is pointing out is that the liberal-leftward fringe is disproportionately likely (and vastly so) to express their opinions in violent ways.

I can read and I know what guilt by association is, by the way, do you speak for Drago now?

Derek Kite said...

A genuine Sniffy Conservative!

Pompous and utterly useless.

He will be one of the victories for the Democrats when they take the Senate.

Angel-Dyne said...

"Populism" has become one of those scare-quote words that no longer means anything other than "things that might work against the interests of the people who fill my campaign coffers". It's about as meaningful and informative as "nazi" or "racist".

rcocean: Of course, he never explains why running massive trade deficits in a "good thing".

Running massive trade deficits is working out nicely for the people who fill my campaign coffers. That makes anyone who wants to have an adult discussion about the larger, long-term consequences of running massive trade deficits a "populist".

Any politician these days posturing as a brave principled opponent of "populism" is a pox-riddled whore.

Achilles said...

antiphone said...

There's your PC, right there. If you didn't vote for our candidate and don't support him you are guilty, by association, for every crime committed by anyone who opposes his agenda. Want to call it Patriotically Correct? It doesn't make any difference. It's not just hypocrisy, it's bullshit as well.

There were thousands and thousands of leftists on twitter saying Scalise deserved to be shot because he supports second amendment rights.

Thousands.

And Out of all of the leftists on this board exactly one condemned the shooting.

One.

You people constantly spew bile and there are daily attacks by leftists on people they disagree with. And there are numerous historical examples of leftists gaining power and killing off their political enemies.

There is little doubt what you people would do to us if you had the opportunity. Your campus activists make it clear on a daily basis.

antiphone said...

...the point of Drago's comment. It contains no assigned guilt by association -- only concrete examples which dispel the claim of being "no different than you".

Bullshit, I know why so many of you love to play this game. It happens on both sides of the partisan divide and in almost every case it's so childish and venal the people indulging in it are ashamed to be called on it, and start scrambling for excuses.

Achilles said...

Etienne said...
Why is his name showing-up in the press every week? What's really going on here?

The Globalists own the MSM, the democrat party machine, and about half of the elected Republicans in DC.

Flake is just a tool for the people who get him elected. He is the "principled" republican that keeps the republican voters in line and tricks them into thinking they are voting for something different.

If he opens his mouth wide enough you will see someones hand shoved up his ass using him like a puppet.

Martin said...

Flake might want to contemplate that the GOP controls so many Senate and House seats, the White House, and a majority of governorships and state legislatures because of populism that grew in response to Obama/liberal over-reach, coincident with loss of economic standing. Conservatism as people like him have defined it has been an impediment, not a contributor, to electoral success.

If you want to see where conservatism without populism gets you, look at 2009.

It is to the everlasting shame of "movement" conservatives that they rejected and tried to kill the Tea Party in 2010-12, standing aside while Obama's IRS and the media did it for them. Then, having learned nothing, they compounded their sin (of hubris) when they did not take Trump seriously in late 2015, and finally when they refused to reach out to Trump in March 2016 and try to work out a modus vivendi with the person who obviously had won the support of the GOP electoral base; they preferred to indulge in pornographic fantasies of stealing the nomination at the convention. None of this marks movement conservatives as fit to govern, and in most of the country, even fit to run for election. Their bets argument is that they are not identity-politics liberals, and while that is certainly something, it is hardly enough.

dda6ga dda6ga said...

Sock puppet for Mittens

antiphone said...

There is little doubt what you people would do to us if you had the opportunity. Your campus activists make it clear on a daily basis.

No one can have a discussion with this, this is the borg. In this state of mind (to be generous) there are no individuals only two collectives. The Stalin-ism that obsesses you is a --projection-- that is way out of proportion with reality and far from demonstrating an appreciation for the lessons of history it reveals you as a pretentious gas bag with rage issues.

Fabi said...

"Bullshit, I know why so many of you love to play this game. It happens on both sides of the partisan divide and in almost every case it's so childish and venal the people indulging in it are ashamed to be called on it, and start scrambling for excuses."

Was that intended to be coherent?

Chuck said...

Achilles said...
Flake is going to be primaried out.

Last year was supposed to be the year that John McCain was primaried out. McCain won, pulling away.

There was a primary challenge (and then a general election race) to Paul Ryan last year, promoted extensively by Drudge and Breitbart. Ryan won easily.

Marco Rubio was challenged, as a weak immigration centrist. Rubio won, even after a belated entry into the race after his presidential bid.

So perhaps now you might understand why I don't think much of the primary-challenge threat.

Ray said...

Trump is talking to Flakes potential primary opponents.

And Flake is getting lots of good press recently.

If he fails in the primary, this will send a message on crossing Trump.

Lewis Wetzel said...

The "populist" label tells as much about the person who applies it as the person it is applied to. What is its opposite? A person who promotes unpopular policies? It is a bit like the people who rail against "the dictatorship of the majority." Would they prefer a dictatorship of the minority? In many cases I suppose that they would, they are, after all, against a "dictatorship of the majority," not "dictatorship".

mockturtle said...

The GOP still proceeds under the misconception that the greater the distance they put between themselves and Trump, the better their chanced for re-election. They couldn't be more wrong. If they had to rely entirely on the GOP establishment for votes, they would lose. Those assholes never wanted a bigger tent at all. They want to keep their elite little tent that only represents their big campaign contributors and they don't give a shit if they sell our country out to the highest bidder. They are worse than assholes. They are greedy globalists.

Unknown said...



"The problem Drago is pointing out is that the liberal-leftward fringe is disproportionately likely (and vastly so) to express their opinions in violent ways.

It means either the violent and extreme "tail" of the population on that side is much larger, or the violence cutoff is further toward the center. Either is a bad indicator for the state of mind of the whole."

"I'd like to punch him in the face."
Donald Trump

exiledonmainstreet said...

The only reason "populism" is popular is because our elites are mediocrities who have failed us.

I'm suspicious of populism too, actually. But when you have feckless, corrupt and unwise people running the country - you get Trump.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Achilles said...

Chuck said...

So perhaps now you might understand why I don't think much of the primary-challenge threat.

That is fine. This is going to be the new front line in the battle against Chuck and his globalist friends. The difference between us Chuck is I don't have to lie to myself and everyone else about what I believe and support. My actions and my words will match. Yours do not.

Every 6 years Flake has to lie about his positions. Same with McCain Murkowski et al..

In the long run we will win and you will lose.

traditionalguy said...

Good con job by Flakey. He is intentionally using Adam Smith's posturing as if 1760's philosophy still answer the questions for the good ruling class of a docile population...do nothing and all will work out.

Of course that leaves out all good leadership of an aroused democracy that flourishes under leaders with reality based courage to defeat invading enemies.

His governing philosophy has been a useless joke since 1930.

Achilles said...

antiphone said...

No one can have a discussion with this, this is the borg. In this state of mind (to be generous) there are no individuals only two collectives. The Stalin-ism that obsesses you is a --projection-- that is way out of proportion with reality and far from demonstrating an appreciation for the lessons of history it reveals you as a pretentious gas bag with rage issues.

I missed your condemnation of:

The Scalise shooting.

The Thugs in Chicago that threatened to riot and forced Trump to cancel his appearance.

The thousands of leftists in San Jose who attacked people leaving the Trump rally and the Mayor of San Jose who told the police not to interfere.

The tens of thousands of leftists on college campuses that violently and abusively attack conservatives and libertarians on a daily basis.

Kathy Griffin

Samantha Bee

Lena Dunham

Linda Sarsour

Antifa

BLM

"The Resistance"

Jonathan Graehl said...

this is civility-bullshit-adjacent.

is he right? populism may seem childish-easy, but when it's *winning*, our elders should take notice: the natives are restless. maybe there are things you could do, out of self interest even, to quell the unrest.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

"And so I wish that we would have been more truthful with the electorate in terms of what we can and what we cannot do in Washington...."

Gruber-speak. IOW, "We have to lie about our intentions to make sure that we get re-elected."

HoodlumDoodlum said... Trump's not a standard Republican, to say the least. These smart Republicans need to figure out why lots of people chose to vote for someone other than a standard Republican. If their only conclusion is "people are stupid" well, maybe those Republicans aren't all that smart.
8/6/17, 8:19 PM

Egg-zactly! This republican Flake demonstrates the disdain for the American people common to the elected class of both parties. Versailles on the Potomac.


exhelodrvr1 said...

He is confusing populism with rejection of the political/cultural status quo.

exhelodrvr1 said...

antiphone,
"There's your PC, right there. If you didn't vote for our candidate and don't support him you are guilty, by association, for every crime committed by anyone who opposes his agenda."

If you support politicians who not only don't publicly reject those tactics, but in fact encourage them, then you do bear a good share of the guilt.

HT said...

Civility bullshit.

antiphone said...

If you support politicians who not only don't publicly reject those tactics, but in fact encourage them, then you do bear a good share of the guilt.

Oh, I see, so there is such a thing as being, legitimately, politically incorrect. I wonder if this counts as that kind ofencouragement:

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," he said in July 2016.

Later, Trump said at that news conference that he would "love" to see the emails, if Russia or China had them.


It's easy to say, "hey I was joking" and Trump's a funny guy. He makes a lot of jokes, maybe he belongs in Vegas. Then people wouldn't confuse his comedy with his serious material, 'cause that can lead to accusations of condoning violence and that I have never condoned, in fact, I condemn it. I also want to take a moment to condemn those who condone by failing to atone. If you suddenly realize you got distracted or outraged, or something and failed to condemn you can always atone.

exhelodrvr1 said...

antiphone,
First of all, you seem to be putting the email comment on the same level as encouraging political violence.
Secondly, you seem to be ignoring the story behind the "lost" email. Trump's comment pointed out the ridiculousness of the Democrat claims about the emails.

Are you being deliberately obtuse, or are you just dense?

CStanley said...

In the context of his full responses I thought he was saying that populism was a sugar high for the GOP because it's easier for them to get votes that way than to sell the harder truths. That seems less offensive than the way Althouse is interpreting it because it's a diss of the politicians, not the voters.

I agree with Maxed Out Mama though that his truths aren't necessarily accurate- it's at least debateable whether the decline of manufacturing in the US has been caused by trade deals.

Big Mike said...

Well, antiphone, I get that you're upset. What I don't get is why.

I don't get why you're upset about Trump's remarks on the missing Emails, since anyone with the slightest grasp of cyber security awareness realizes that the Russians -- and no doubt nearly every other foreign intelligence service! -- were reading Hillary Clinton's emails, probably before she did. That's the logical implication of the Secretary of State being a high value surveillance target while storing her communications on an unsecured server. That Trump used humor to remind people of her lack of cyber awareness may stick in your craw, but using humor to attack your political opponents goes back a long way in politics.

I also don't get why you refuse to denounce Democrat-encouraged (sometimes Democrat sponsored) political violence. There is no upside for your side if the violence spreads.

Rusty said...

First.
What wildswan said.

"antiphone said...
A batshit crazy leftist - who voted for Jill effing Stein, no less - claiming to speak for ordinary Americans.

Ordinary American's can vote for whomever they please and in many cases they do. Unlike so many Trump voters who say, "we had no choice, Hillary made us do it". There's always someone else to blame for people who wont take responsibility for their own choices."

You haven't been paying attention. The Republicans fielded 12 +/- candidates.Tthrough leftist media manipulation and in some cases-Bush-their own incompetence the field was winnowed down to Trump. The candidate the democrats wanted Hillary to run against because he was believed to be an unserious clown.An easy win. But as it turns out the vast amount of voters in states necessary to win the electoral votes didn't wan't Hillary or wanted Trump. You see . We had plenty of choices. Half of which, if nominated, would have lost to Hillary. You dumbasses ran Hillary. A Park Ridge scheming grifter who never met a donation she could refuse. You had years to find an acceptable candidate but you simple dem machine hacks pushed the palsied old lady out front because it was, "her time"
You were played by the DNC. And you will run into their arms again the next election cycle.
Trump put a conservative on the court. Illegal immigration is down to a trickle. He can bumble and emote through the rest of his time and he'll still be a success.
We won. Suck it.

Phil 3:14 said...

"How are Flake's constituents feeling about him lately"

This one still likes him and will vote for him.

Bad Lieutenant said...

How are you a constituent, you don't live in AZ.

MayBee said...

I have one problem with some of the "harder truths".
For a while, the harder truth was that we were at peak oil and we needed to go to renewable energy.
Also, the harder truth was that we were always going to be beholden to OPEC, so we needed to go to renewable energy.
It was harder truth that sometimes you need to take the pill rather than have the surgery. And now we have an opioid crisis.

There have been harder truths about needing to get salt out of our diet, or to eat less fat and protein and more grains in order to be leaner and healthier. Harder truths that people here illegally are here to stay.
So I guess I just don't trust the deliverers of many of the harder truths.

Bob Ellison said...

Trivial quibble: there's no such thing as a sugar high. The metaphor is obvious, though, and I agree with it.

LilyBart said...

Jeff Flake represents that brand of big government, big business shill that I despise. Yes our politicians need to be more honest with the people - but more honest about the limitation of government programs and about the inherent unfairness of requiring one family to pay the expenses of another in the name of 'fairness' and 'equality'. There will always be some people, with catastrophic limitations who need charity, but this 'spreading the wealth' thing will only lead to ruin. Tell that truth Jeff Flake!

Also - we cannot have near open boarders and a giant welfare system. Tell THAT truth Jeff Flake.

Further - Illegal aliens who were brought here by their parents 'through no fault of their own' and are in legal limbo, have THEIR OWN parents to blame. By allowing them to stay, we encourage more illegal immigration and provide a back door immigration method: come with kids! Tell that truth Jeff Flake. (also, the next cry will be "we can't separate families! so it becomes a nifty little 'work around' the immigration system. )


I've never cared for Flake, and find the idea that he wants to rise as our new leader at this time, to lead us out of Trumpville, to be risible!

Ron Winkleheimer said...

The power centers of the culture have been captured by people who do not have the welfare of the country or its middle and working classes as a priority. If you want to be accepted into that set of people you have to accept their assumptions or you will end up, at best, being published on WND.

Trump came on the scene and stated, at least implicitly, "Hey, maybe we should make some accommodations for the middle and working class US citizens, even if that disadvantages the elite. We can start enforcing immigration laws and renegotiate trade treaties made 20 or 30 years ago. We can encourage manufacturing to move back to the US and encourage new businesses to form by striking down burdensome and over reaching regulation. We can encourage energy production in the US. There's all kinds of things that we can do to strengthen the US economy for the benefit of all of those people in what you call fly over country. They're people too. They are having real problems and the government seems dedicated to making their problems worse. Oh, and patriotism and Christianity aren't deplorable. Vote for me and I will try to help you."

And for some reason, this message has driven the governing establishment and their media toadies insane.

Go figure.

Achilles said...

antiphone said...

"If you suddenly realize you got distracted or outraged, or something and failed to condemn you can always atone."

Looks like antiphone thinks it is ok to beat up and shoot Trump supporters until they "atone." Do you understand what the word atone and it's connotations are? I will assume you do since you used it.


Ron Winkleheimer said...

So, the establishment reaction to Trump's message wasn't a reasoned argument. They accused Trump and his supporters of harboring all the usual "isms," called Trump a clown, and attempted to sabotage him.

As I'm sure you all remember most news sites rated Trump's chances of winning at ridiculously low levels. Like 10 - 12% even though Hillary and Trump were within the sampling error in most national polls and Trump was drawing huge crowds at rallies held in battleground states that Hillary wasn't even campaigning in. In a sane world those would have been flags signalling that Hillary was in deep, deep trouble. But the governing class just could not conceive the concept of a Trump victory. They would sooner expect pigs to fly. Their concept of how the universe operates does not entertain such a thing. So currently they are trying to expel him from the system, because he is not part of the body.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

And the thing is, most of us aren't of the body. Including folk like Inga and antiphone and Chuck. They think they are part of the body. But in fact, the body is a very small group of people. If you don't live in DC or New York or Los Angeles or San Francisco, chances are you aren't part of the body. If you don't make upwards of $250,000 a year and work in Media or Government or are very well connected, you aren't part of the body. You're just a tool. Perhaps a useful tool, perhaps an obsolete tool. But just a tool.

CStanley said...

Who hooo...1st day of school here AND I get a tag!

It's also the day that my 82 year old Mom is having hip replacement surgery, so hopefully that will go well too. Prayers from anyone so inclined will be much appreciated.

mockturtle said...

Why is it we never see any intelligent leftist commenters?

mockturtle said...

Well, I should say Cookie is reasonably intelligent, just naive. ;-)

Birkel said...

CStanley,
You have mine.

Bad Lieutenant said...

God bless with the hip. My mom had one this year and it went very well, I believe the science is much advanced.

mockturtle said...

It's also the day that my 82 year old Mom is having hip replacement surgery, so hopefully that will go well too. Prayers from anyone so inclined will be much appreciated.

You have mine, too!

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

How dare a politician admit out loud that they should be taking candy away from all the babies.

Khesanh 0802 said...

Mockturle said" The GOP still proceeds under the misconception that the greater the distance they put between themselves and Trump, the better their chanced for re-election. They couldn't be more wrong. If they had to rely entirely on the GOP establishment for votes, they would lose. Those assholes never wanted a bigger tent at all. They want to keep their elite little tent that only represents their big campaign contributors and they don't give a shit if they sell our country out to the highest bidder. They are worse than assholes. They are greedy globalists." Right on, Honey!!!

Khesanh 0802 said...

I know I am day late, but I'll do this anyway. I think people have seen this before boston-globe-manages-to-politicize-the-upcoming-solar-eclipse. An essentially random line drawn across the US indicates that most of that area has Trump voters in the majority. Draw it pretty much anywhere and the result would be the same. Is Flake missing something?!?

wbfjrr2 said...

I live in Arizona. Flake lied about his actual positions last time he ran, and is continually attacking our duly elected President. My family and most of the people I know despise him. I will be contributing the legal max to his strongest primary challenger, and he definitely WILL be primaried.

As for McCain, he'll finally be gone, hopefully shortly.

Bad Lieutenant said...

I will be contributing the legal max to his strongest primary challenger, and he definitely WILL be primaried.

Please keep us posted on developments and help us figure out who to support. Chuck shows us very well how these rotten bastards don't care about anything that doesn't affect them personally. Apparently they couldn't take the lesson from Eric Cantor, so let them learn it over and over again on their own hides.

mockturtle said...

I will also be working toward defeat of Flake in the Arizona primary next year. It shouldn't be too difficult if there is a viable candidate, as Flake has pissed off most of his constituents. I'm new to AZ but Congresswoman Martha McSally is well thought of by many conservatives.