Comrade, they buy the rope for us!
Posted by aogWednesday, 09 October 2013 at 18:16 TrackBack Ping URL

This article makes a point that occurred to me after I read Russian President Vladimir Putin’s editorial in the New York Times. That is, Putin’s writers clearly have read the works of the MAL and cleverly served up their own tropes to smash President Obama. This puts Obama and his supporters in a bind, because to argue against Putin’s agitprop they would have to disown their own well recorded oikophobia which would be more hurtful than taking the hit from Putin. It is a measure of the MAL’s parochialism and lack of thoughtfulness that enables brutes like Putin to get away with being brutes will styming any reponse from the USA as long as it has a MAList government.

But of course, for the MAL, there are no foreign enemies, only domestic ones. That’s why Obama will eagerly (if not pathetically) grasp any negotiating straw from place like Iran, but won’t talk to the Congressional GOP. One can’t help but laugh, though, at Obama cancelling his Asian trip so he can sit in the White House and not negotiate. Surely he could have done that in Asia too, or would it have been too much for him to talk with foreign leaders and not talk to domestic ones at the same time?

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Clovis Wednesday, 09 October 2013 at 20:59

So you’ve bought Boehner’s line on Obama talking to Iran but not to him.

Except that only in a world of delusion what is lacking is conversation between both parties. Like they only needed to sit down and listen to each other while driking tea.

The reserve of morals the US had to lecture Russia on anything is really low these days. That is indeed “styming any reponse from the USA”.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 09 October 2013 at 21:20

Why, gosh, yes, I can’t possibly have thought of that myself. It can only be because I am mindlessly parroting some politician. And of course, since he’s a member of the GOP, he statements are a priori false, just “a line”. Truly, you have seen clear through me.

Except that only in a world of delusion what is lacking is conversation between both parties. Like they only needed to sit down and listen to each other while drinking tea.

But, you were just denying there was any battle ideology, That it was really just about money and power, which is precisely the kind of thing they could sit down and talk to each other about over tea.

Do you agree with Obama and Senate Majority Leader Reid that there is no point in talking to the Speaker of the House of Representatives? Instead they should just … what? civil war?

Clovis Thursday, 10 October 2013 at 07:18

Well, the implication “being a GOP politician” -> “his statements are false” is yours, not mine.

I’ve indeed thought you’ve read Boehner’s jab, and was building upon it. There is nothing wrong with that. If you did not and got the same line by yourself, there is also not much merit on that too. This is all about a very petty fight, with petty actors, no profound insight is coming from this.

Now, I really do not know from where you got that struggles “about money and power” can easily be solved over tea.

> Do you agree […] there is no point in talking to the Speaker […]?

Maybe I get your country too wrong, AOG, but in my worldview of your politics, politicians of contrary parties do not sit down and talk like people trying to reach a consensus, or like you and me right here. I mean, they sit down and pose for pictures pretending they do that, but it is only theater.

They all have their games of power and try to checkmate the other one by building majorities, exchanging favors and pulling leverages of projects that bring power, money and influence among their constituences.

Right now the Democrats calculated that this shutdown, and further debt ceiling fight, will probably give them political advantadge over Republicans, for they think the majority of your population will blame GOP for the mess. And also to portray the GOP as irrational may play well too. Other important thing in their calculus is that to surrender and give up on ACA would be akin to political suicide. So, any tea with Boehner will be just for the sake of tea.

Now, the political calculation of the GOP is way less transparent to me. Maybe a couple of them are doing it because they are true believers, but most of them are playing for their basis. They are trying to maneuver the situation in such a way that they look tough even if they do not win. So they will not reach agreement up to the last point, because otherwise they would look weak, they would not convince you they tried hard enough (which means, again, that tea now is just tea). There is also another part of GOP which is not comfortable with this standoff, it can hurt their financiers, and they are trying to use the apparent “irrationality” of their colleagues to gain leverage with the Big Pockets, like posing they can control the monster and should be well paid for that.

It is a chicken game, but it won’t lead to civil war. Unless you and your pals get too sick of it and start one. Not probable. Your insurance would not pay for the damages.

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 10 October 2013 at 08:42

Clovis;

Language tip, then - to “buy a line” is to believe a false statement.

As for politicians sitting down and talking and coming to an agreement over even profound differences, that is in fact the history of our politics and what has happened in every previous show down over the debt ceiling. It is Obama’s refusal to do so that is unprecedented. Because of that history, it’s a very bad strategy on his side if he wants to make the GOP the bad / crazy guys of the piece. Most voters will consider the “no negotiation” as the best evidence of that.

On the larger scale, it’s clear a large majority wants to see serious spending cuts and the Democratic Party position of “ignore the debt ceiling and just spend” is not politically popular and won’t be. This is precisely the reason the Senate and the President have ignored their customary and statutory responsibilities to produce budgets.

surrender and give up on ACA

Maybe they could, you know, negotiate and offer something else instead. At this point the ACA is such an obvious train wreck the GOP may well be willing to let it fail on its own.

As for civil war, I don’t think it will lead to that, but I don’t see how, in your view, it doesn’t, if there is to not be even the pretense of negotiation.

Clovis Thursday, 10 October 2013 at 15:05

AOG,

Language tip, then - to “buy a line” is to believe a false statement.

Thanks, I did not know it implied a judgment on the statement.

Most voters will consider the “no negotiation” as the best evidence of that.

Well, if I believe most non-right wing media, that is not true.

On the larger scale, it’s clear a large majority wants to see serious spending cuts

And here the very same comment is valid.

At this point the ACA is such an obvious train wreck the GOP may well be willing to let it fail on its own.

This is exactly what has been pointed out, by pro-ACA people, as evidence that ACA is working and that deep fear of its success is the motivation for this shutdown.

If you stop to think, they have a point. What is the logic of such a bitter fight from GOP’s point of view, if they truly believe ACA is a train wreck? On the contrary, they should invite the train wreck so they can show to everyone they were right - and it would be much easier, after that, to change it.

[…] but I don’t see how, in your view, it doesn’t, if there is to not be even the pretense of negotiation.

Well, in my view I’ve stated more than once that this is a petty fight, and people hardly go to war for petty fights.

I am under the impression that my view of politics is way more cynical than yours. I believe rarely one of those politicians truly believe what they say - and this is one more reason I think it is nonsense to portray any of them as real socialists. And another reason why it would not lead to a civil war - people using masks in a theater play only go to fake wars.

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 10 October 2013 at 17:51

Well, if I believe most non-right wing media, that is not true.

You’ve believed other demonstrably false things based on non-right wing media, so even for an ad hominem that’s a bit weak.

What is the logic of such a bitter fight from GOP’s point of view, if they truly believe ACA is a train wreck?

Love of country over desire for political victory. The GOP, and I, believe that the ACA will not only be a train wreck on its own terms, but quite possibly do near irreparable damage to the nation. No matter how badly such a system works, it can eventually become permanent until the real collapse hits.

It’s the same reason you don’t show a friend how dangerous driving while intoxicated is by letting him wreck his car. You take his keys away instead.

The pro-ACA people only think they have a point, because they can’t imagine favoring the good of the nation over their own political success. Otherwise, it would be obvious.

If you think this is a petty fight, you’re just about the only one, so you might want to consider your rule on majority beliefs vs. delusion.

Bret Thursday, 10 October 2013 at 19:56

aog,

That got me laughing. I’m not a republican and that’s because I have about as much respect for the GOP and their supposed “love of country over desire for political victory” as I do for the democrats. OK, maybe a little tiny bit more respect for the GOP, primarily because they’re the minority party and the fact that I couldn’t possibly have less respect for them than the democrats. I think that you need to be very self-serving in order to have the mindset required to be a “successful” politician (where “successful” means good at getting elected and re-elected).

Like Clovis, I too think this is a petty fight, but also very entertaining. Petty, because the outcome hardly matters - the best they can do is delay the ACA a bit. Entertaining, for a number of reasons. First, Obama predicted chaos if the government shut down, but other than actively harassing tourists in national parks, hardly anyone outside government even notices that the government is partially shut down - it was quite a yawner. Second, I’m curious to see what happens if the government misses payments on Oct. 17 - my guess is not much, and I hope they hold out that long so we can see. Third, I’m enjoying seeing all of those politicians on both sides of the aisle sweating and being hugely stressed - it couldn’t happen to a more deserving group.

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 10 October 2013 at 21:08

Bret;

I think my description would apply more to the base than the actual politicians. The rise of the Tea Parties has pushed the GOP, at least, in this direction. Yeah, you could count on one hand (maybe two) the GOP Congressmen who believe that, but I can’t think of a single example on the other side of the aisle, and I think this is driven largely by the political active base on the two sides.

Further, one thing Clovis missed in his view of ideology and its affect on party politics is you only need a few true ideologues to drive a large group — most people (especially politicians) will go along as long as someone else is out front.

Clovis Friday, 11 October 2013 at 09:40

AOG,

You’ve believed other demonstrably false things based on non-right wing media, so even for an ad hominem that’s a bit weak.

When that happened, I had no problem in correcting my position. To imply that every position I may have, now will then be wrong is a pretty low argument.

It’s the same reason you don’t show a friend how dangerous driving while intoxicated is by letting him wreck his car. You take his keys away instead.

But your friend is already driving and gone - to stop him now by shooting his tires is a solution worst than the problem.

If you think this is a petty fight, you’re just about the only one, so you might want to consider your rule on majority beliefs vs. delusion.

Well, taking a pool here on this thread, you are in a delusion, again :-)

Clovis Friday, 11 October 2013 at 10:08

Bret,

Second, I’m curious to see what happens if the government misses payments on Oct. 17 - my guess is not much, and I hope they hold out that long so we can see.

After the discussions I’ve seen here and in the newspapers, I tend to believe that too. It looks like it may be a problem only after many months, if the Keynesians got it right.

What I do not see discussed is the liability factor. I can imagine that penalties and other things may apply to the part of the debt the govt. defaults (e.g. social secutiry, medicare, etc), so in the end this is going to cost more, not less, making the GOP argument only weaker.

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 11 October 2013 at 10:26

Clovis;

To imply that every position I may have, now will then be wrong is a pretty low argument.

I imply no such thing. I imply that your argument, “if I believe most non-right wing media, that is not true”, is bogus. Interestingly, that’s precisely the argument you found objectionable when it was applied to you. So I’m not only not allowed to make a similar argument, you think it improper for me to even object when you do so.

Let me be clear that what I claim is that “believe most non-right wing media” is a bogus argument that is both an appeal to a demonstrably unreliable authority, and an ad hominem against those who read something other than Old Media.

your friend is already driving and gone

No, he’s not. The ACA doesn’t really start until around March 2014.

The shutdown won’t cost more if spending is cut or even held constant, compared to what was happening before the Democratic Party decided to give up on budgeting and govern by fiscal crisis.

Bret Friday, 11 October 2013 at 11:48

Sorry AOG.

Clovis, I don’t think a sample size of three can be the basis for determining delusion or not.

:-)

Also, if he’s really drunk and you’re a really good shot, shooting the tires might still be the better bet. :-)

Clovis Friday, 11 October 2013 at 12:19

AOG,

Let me be clear that what I claim is that “believe most non-right wing media” is a bogus argument that is both an appeal to a demonstrably unreliable authority, and an ad hominem against those who read something other than Old Media.

Neither. For you stated something about majorities (“Most voters will consider…”). So I invoked what most of the media says, which is often a translation of what most of the country believes. And to see an ad hominem on such a simple statement is, well, usually associated to delusion symptoms :-)

Bret,

Also, if he’s really drunk and you’re a really good shot, shooting the tires might still be the better bet.

Thanks for the warning. I will make sure to never, ever have a drink while you are nearby :-)

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 11 October 2013 at 12:46

what most of the media says, which is often a translation of what most of the country believes

I’m not buying that line. But I’m sure you consider that delusional as well. That certainly makes analyzing things easy, doesn’t it?

to see an ad hominem on such a simple statemen is, well, usually associated to delusion symptoms :-)

Would seeing ad hominem in “you’re wrong because you are a communist” also be delusional? I mean, it’s a simple statement, after all.

Your whole basis here is that I, and other sources, can be considered wrong because they are right wing. That’s attacking the source, not the facts.

Clovis Friday, 11 October 2013 at 13:06

Your whole basis here is that I, and other sources, can be considered wrong because they are right wing. That’s attacking the source, not the facts.

Not at all. That’s just arithmetics.

You count up how many of your sources - from every spectrum - are saying X and how many are saying Y. If the number saying X is far greater than the number saying Y, you have an indication of which opinion the majority has.

You may argue that my counting is wrong, or that I did not get a big enough sample size. But, in your conspirational mindset, you went directly to accuse me of bigotry.

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 11 October 2013 at 14:13

If you read all those sources, you know what those sources are saying. That may or may correspond to what the American Street actually thinks.

But, whatever. When you view my view that Old Media distorts and misreports because I have endless examples of them doing exactly is “conspiracy theory”, you’re just throwing out cant phrases, not discussing.

Clovis Saturday, 12 October 2013 at 07:25

I am aware that pundits’ thought may not be in one to one correspondence with Main Street. As I have no access to the streets, that’s all I have.

It is not your view on the media that motivated my “conspitational mindset” up above. It is your tendency to take my comments to the personal side, as if I wanted to target you for your positions. Gosh, I know you lean Right and here I am discussing with you anyway. Why would I do that if I thought right wing opinions are wrong by default?

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 12 October 2013 at 10:39

When you call me, specifically, “delusional”, and claim that I’m misinformed because of the presumed political orientation of what you think I read, how can I take that other than personally?

Clovis Saturday, 12 October 2013 at 12:43

My dear apologies then, AOG. I thought the joking side of my comments were clearer.

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 12 October 2013 at 21:15

I’m not actually upset, so no harm done.

Unfortunately I’ll be out of town next week so if I don’t respond, it’s not about you :-).

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