Guest Post: Philip Primeau

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29 Responses

  1. talboito says:

    Hey. So that was fun, excepting the Palinating heart in the middle there, that was kinda cringe-inducing.

    Who’ll you psychoanalyze next?Report

  2. greginak says:

    Cole is among other things aiming at rant based humor. he doesn’t pretend to be a pundit, he is just a guy with a blog and opinions. he is fearlessly honest about himself and has many, many times admitted he is wrong or doesn’t know squat about things. He also actually apologizes for going over the top. that is rare site on these intertoobs. You can probably guess if find him funny. but if you intend on being fair in your own ranting i await your take on Redstate, NRO, little green footballs, etc. anything you didn’t like in balloon juice you will find in buckets and even worse in the conservative fever swamps.

    Oh so what do you think of David Horowitz?

    Oh, sarah is my gov “know nothing ignoramous” is not that far off. IMHOReport

  3. E.D. Kain says:

    I’m in the camp that says if you have a change of heart, and you’ve been arguing from one vantage and then you come to the realization that it’s the wrong side, the only intellectually honest thing to do is become a turn-coat. “To thine own self be true.”

    I like Cole, personally, though I admit I’m not a frequent reader of Balloon Juice; and I’m also the type that’s gone through some ideological shifts, and try to keep an open mind. I find my past views pretty awful at times, and likewise the views of many of the people I now vehemently disagree with. So that makes me a turn-coat, I suppose. A vile traitor. Oh fucking well.

    But thanks for the guest post. It’s a good post all things considered, I just happen to disagree with its premise.Report

  4. Howie Hatrick says:

    Is this post worthy of this site?

    Or is the tone and style purposely ironic and I’ve thus been duped?

    Either way, pretty empty.

    Next time you are offering guest slots, put the word out. I’ll take a crap on paper and forward it to you.Report

  5. Philip Primeau says:

    “Oh so what do you think of David Horowitz?”

    Pretty much made that clear in the second sentence: “a chastened comrade trading the red of communism for the red of Republicanism…” Read: Fuck the noisy, nosey bastard.

    “Cole is among other things aiming at rant based humor. he doesn’t pretend to be a pundit, he is just a guy with a blog and opinions. he is fearlessly honest about himself and has many, many times admitted he is wrong or doesn’t know squat about things. He also actually apologizes for going over the top. that is rare site on these intertoobs.”

    Yeah, “humor” based rants by the “fearlessly honest” (haha) are really rare on the internet . . . if by “rare” you mean “every other dingbat with a laptop in his mom’s basement is doing it,” sure.

    Fearless honesty — I have to remember that one.Report

  6. Philip Primeau says:

    Look, I support plainspoken, amiable intellectual honesty as a staple for our conversation. Cole, in that post at least, is engaging in the worst sort of rhetoric, the mean spirited, intentionally ignorant sort of rhetoric typical of guys who are looking to play to the crowd in hopes of validating their changes of heart. It shouldn’t be applauded, and it certainly shouldn’t be excused as “fearless honesty,” for chrissakes.Report

  7. Ryan says:

    — As for one of the most popular governors in the country, a boundary-breaking woman who handily manages a sprawling family life and a busy public one and who, despite many shortcomings, is an inspiration to millions? Cole, oh-so-accomplished blogger (!!!), has her number: “Know-nothing ignoramus.” —

    You want us to take John Cole less seriously, and then you write something like that? Wow.Report

  8. Howie, we might consider accepting that if you take an artful picture of it and supply a clever caption that has some socio-political reference.

    We’re open minded folks here.Report

  9. greginak says:

    Phillip- Yes rant based humor is common, so why freak on cole something that is common. and really, picking on just one post. it wouldn’t be hard to read many posts to get a fuller idea of the blog.

    a lot of people made fun of sarah, you know.Report

  10. Bob says:

    Congratulations Philip, you have the whole Cole rant down pat. In a way it reminds me of Freddie evoking Martin Van Buren. (Martin of course is much more sedate when bringing shit down on the heads of his foes.) But honestly you do have a certain flair that I find sweet, well earnest might be closer. A very important virtue by most accounts.

    For those readers interested in more musings from Philip I highly recommend “Twirling Toward Freedom: Letter to a Disgruntled Young Republican.” It can be found at Culture11. Still.Report

  11. Bob says:

    Scott, if what you suggest, to Howie, comes about, please please please, give the readers a clear warning. You know, like those stickers affixed to Marilyn Manson albums. I’m still angry with E.D. for linking me to Michelle Malkin several weeks back. No matter how he tried to say he gave a warning it’s just not true. Something about hypocrites and republicans as I recall. Well, hell, that is just being redundant.Report

  12. Philip Primeau says:

    “You want us to take John Cole less seriously, and then you write something like that”

    This is the problem! Simple minded jabs and thoughtless tear downs of a deeply flawed but quite remarkable woman like Sarah Palin is considered “fearless honesty,” while tempered and qualified praise of her obvious ability is somehow less than serious. What the . . .

    Aww, to hell with Gawker culture.

    Cole’s game consists of below the belt hits to the roaring approval of his new buddies. And then he decries conservatives for cocooning or whatever! Hah.Report

  13. Heh, I’ll get E.D. to instruct me on how to use some kind of blinking neon text just for you, Bob.Report

  14. Bob says:

    Thanks Scott. I know it must seem strange to the cognoscenti that scat is not universally venerated, I guess it all comes down to my provincial, Kansas, up-bring. But somehow I have never developed a taste for it – as sexually titillating – so I just can’t imagine it being politically titillating. The neon thing will work. Thanks for your efforts.Report

  15. Anything for the loyal readership. If I think it’s worth a boo I’ll email you.Report

  16. Joseph FM says:

    And what do ya’ll make of hilzoy’s take on the same FPR post? It’s just as negative, in a way, but I think, a lot smarter.Report

  17. Joseph: Much as I usually enjoy Hilzoy, her take seems way off base to me, even though I haven’t considered myself a conservative for years. The reason I say that is that she’s lampooning a description of “authentic conservatism” that is being pushed by several people who have spent the last several years shouting from the rooftops that “movement conservatism” isn’t conservative at all.

    It may be that “movement conservatism” is a legitimate and/or natural form of conservatism, though I’m becoming increasingly convinced that it is not. But attributing the absurdity and thoughtlessness of movement conservatism to what is essentially an argument for an intelligent and thoughtful conservatism is not only unfair but also seeks to delegitimize attempts to create an intelligent and thoughtful conservatism.

    Prior to the election, there seemed to be a broad agreement on the political Left that an intelligent and thoughtful conservatism would provide a worthy counterweight to liberalism, providing an honest critique that could actually create better policy outcomes. Hilzoy’s post suggests that now an intelligent and thoughtful conservatism is just another vapid obstacle standing in the way of Progressive utopia.
    In the process, she is inadvertently (I hope) reinforcing the CPAC party line right, to wit, that reformist conservatives are just useful idiots. That may well be a good way to ensure that Joe the Plumber remains the face of conservatism for a long time to come, and thus a good way for liberals to continue winning elections; but if your interest is in creating a better world more generally, then discouraging reformist conservatives seems like a really bad idea.Report

  18. Shorter me: Hilzoy is attempting to define conservatism as coextensive and synonymous with “movement conservatism,” thereby assuring that “movement conservatism” will remain the only meaningful counterweight to liberalism.Report

  19. matoko_chan says:

    Well…you can read this.
    i imagine John Cole feels just like I do….betrayed. 2 and 1/2 years ago when I saw Bush was LYING on stem cells…. I began to see he was lying on Iraq, torture, Iran, and the economy.
    And conservatives are still lying through their teeth….reform conservatives along with movement conservatives.
    Ross Douthat is just Kristol with a bigger vocabulary and better hair.Report

  20. matoko_chan says:

    Tu sais, Philip, cher……there is no reform conservatism.
    There are only movement conservatives that uniformly pander to the low information base with wishful thinking and dogwhistle IQ-baiting and race-baiting.
    All the erstwhile reform conservatives get keelhauled under the deck of the SS Conservative Titanic.
    Why didn't you link Cole?
    Too cowardly to risk a response? Report

  21. Philip Primeau says:

    I supplied the URL, assuming Freddie would embed it as a hyperlink. I didn't do the actual posting. Anyway, I'm not looking for a pissing match. If Cole responds, I'll not say anything more. No need for useless back and forth. I said my piece, and with that I'm happy.

    As for whether "reform conservatism" exists, I don't really care. I've never paid much attention to that "trad" v. reform spat. All I know is, there is a wide range of right of center philosophies. It's unfair to lump all Republicans or all conservatives in the same bunch, when clearly there exists a long, long, long spectrum of opinion. Report

    • matoko_chan in reply to Philip Primeau says:

      It's unfair to lump all Republicans or all conservatives in the same bunch, when clearly there exists a long, long, long spectrum of opinion.

      It is perfectly fair.
      There is no "spectrum of opinion".
      I defy you to find a nano-wafer's difference between Douthat's and say….either Rush or Beck's positions on anything. Report

  22. Philip Primeau says:

    You see no "nano-wafer's difference" between Ron Paul and George W. Bush? Bill Kristol and Sam Francis? Dan Riehl and Dan Larison? Taki T and Mike Huckabee? Rudy Giuliani and Alan Keyes? Andrew Sullivan and K Lo?

    If you don't, you're blind to distinction by hatred (to borrow a phrase from my post). Because, like any sane observer, I can spot major points of disagreement on major issues: Abortion, war, drugs, SSM, religion and its place in public life, taxes, states' rights and federalism, monetary policy, immigration, executive power, education, etc.

    I read VDare and then Commentary and it's often like night and day. Poulos is a different creature than Hewitt, who's a different creature than Robert Stacy McCain.

    There are very real and very important points of divergence among people who can be clustered under the descriptor of "conservative." On the right, there are pro-SSM, anti-war libertarians indifferent to abortion and rabid social conservatives who want to stay in Iraq for a century and bomb Iran to boot. There are National Greatness types and staunch minarchists.

    If conservatives were all the same, Club for Growth would not be running Toomey against Specter in PA. A RedState Republican wouldn't challenge Paul in Texas.

    A publication like The American Conservative advocates policies which National Review does not, and often The Weekly Standard disagrees with both.

    There are foundational similarities among all righties, obviously. But to look at Olympia Snowe and see Rush Limbaugh, or look at Daniel McCarthy and see Norm Podhoretz, or look at John Derbyshire and see Rick Santorum — that's crazy.

    I can't tell if you're trolling or willfully ignorant or just plain stupid. Whichever, you're for sure annoying and not worth expending further energy on. Peace. Report

  23. matoko_chan says:

    Taken issue by issue, there is no significant difference.
    Consider SSM– even "secular" Heather MacDonald and Razib Khan "fear the harm". Even Steve Sailer spouts that same spinverbage about "traditional wisdom".
    In case you haven't noticed, Sully, Frum, Powell, Christo Buckley, etc are not considered to be conservatives by their tribe.
    For another example look at poor Michael Steele, who is forced to retract every moderate word that comes out of his mouth.
    Conservatism is descending into primitive fundamantalism, purging defectors and indulging in magical thinking; eight-cell blastulae are humans endowed with citizen rights, hASR is superior to hESCR, AGW is a myth, IDT is peer to ToE, etc.
    I repeat, there is NO SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE.

    Paul is no conservative, he is a libertarian. Report

  24. matoko_chan says:

    And I think Cole and I experienced the same thing….we were betrayed.
    Conservative leaders we respected and looked up to….lied.
    And they are still lying.
    That is the source of our anger and frustration, not the apostate's zeal you so colorfully describe.


  25. matoko_chan says:

    And I at least finally understand the mechanics of the GOP. It is populist to the bone. The GOP is nominally led by elites pretending to be noble yeoman farmers, but actually the leadership is lead by the nose by the christianist base.
    That led to GOP electoral victories when white christians were the biggest mob.
    They are not any the biggest mob anymore.
    My epiphany came when I saw GW lie on nat'l television about stem cells.
    And the Schiavo madness….
    Not sure where Cole's epiphany came in.

    Frum is right.
    “Back in the 1960s and 1970s, we’d been fighting to protect the common-sense instincts of ordinary people from elite interference. Now, in the Terri Schiavo euthanasia case, with stem cell research, on gay rights issues, it was we who had become the interfering elite, against a society that was reaching its own new equilibrium.

    Of course, that’s not how conservatives saw it. We saw a country divided in two, red states and blue, NASCAR vs. NPR, real America against the phonies in the cities. A movement that had begun as an intellectual one now scornfully pooh-poohed the need for people in government to know anything much at all. But expertise does matter, and the neglect of expertise leads to mismanagement and failure — as we saw in Iraq, in Katrina and in the disregard of warning signals from the financial market. It was under a supposedly pro-market administration that the United States suffered the worst market failure of the post-war era, and that should have sobered us. Instead, we rallied to Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber…

    But on environmental issues, we have to follow the evidence where it leads — and on social issues we have to take our society as it is. If the world changes, we have to change with it. The refusal of so many of my fellow conservatives in the United States to adapt their thinking to facts and realities does not demonstrate their adherence to principle. It demonstrates a frivolous indifference to the responsibilities of political leadership.”

    But he's a RINO, isnt he Philip? Report

  26. Dave says:


    Paul's views on the Constitution, especially with respect to unenumerated rights and the religion clauses put him in the conservative camp as far as I'm concerned.

    I'd like to think that I know a few things about the libertarian understanding of the Constitution, and Paul's views don't come close to it aside from his belief in the doctrine of enumerated powers.

    His views on the protection of unenumerated rights (as well as church-state issues) but him in the conservative camp. No self-respecting libertarian should agree with him. Report

  27. Joel says:

    No doubt, Cole was off-target there.

    But Frum is a snake-oil salesman. In fact, he fits the exact description of the “intellectual apostate” that you mentioned earlier in your piece. Probably a better candidate than Cole, even.Report