the things people say on the internet


Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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60 Responses

  1. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    You don’t get it E.D.
    Brooks was right, Palin is the cancer that is going to destroy the GOP.
    She has blown up the model.
    Republicans always led the base by pretending to be noble yeoman farmers, when they were really stealthy elites.
    You and I know Jill Sixpack can’t lead the country, but the base believes the myth of the noble yeoman farmer as leader……after all, the GOP has been telling them that for years.
    So…GOP RIP.
    Game ovah.Report

    • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

      I disagree matoko. People say that stuff all the time. The GOP has fallen mightily but they’re far from dead. I’ve had some advice similar to yours, trust me, but I just have to beg to disagree. Think of this time not as a burial but as a metamorphosis.Report

      • Avatar matoko_chan says:

        All you have left are failmemes and they are on life support.
        And you will never get the base off the Sarah Palin crack.
        Its ovah.

  2. Avatar mike farmer says:

    Yes, Palin was not close to ready for that gig, but, then I don’t know why anyone would want it. But, the over-reaction to Palin is strange. It’s almost like a panic reaction because they’re afraid she will set off some kind of spontaneous support from the hoi polloi, so she must be destroyed. This over-reaction helps Palin more than it hurts her, because there are millions of people who will react to what they see as unfair, making her a sympathetic figure to the common folk.

    As for McCain, he’s building a rep by being controversial. He’s a good marketer and rabble-rouser, although not much of a philosopher pundit.Report

    • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

      Yep. He’s a swashbuckler. Right now the movement has lots of swashbucklers and rabble-rousers, but what it does not have are great communicators or diplomats to the center.Report

      • Avatar JB says:

        Screw the center. It’s full of people who want healthcare paid for by angels and expect their house’s value to skyrocket till the end of time. The center is wrong.Report

    • “This over-reaction helps Palin more than it hurts her, because there are millions of people who will react to what they see as unfair, making her a sympathetic figure to the common folk.”

      Hmmm…..IIRC, Hillary Clinton was never so popular as when she was being attacked most publicly. This sounds like the same phenomenon.Report

    • Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

      Mike, BRILLIANT, BINGO, …If SP’s such a zit why are these Social-Dems spending sooooo much time peeing on her parade?
      Also, beloved desert flower MC, sweetie, when I was your age I thought I’d never see anything but a bunch of cigar smoking, war mongering, tax hiking Democrats in power…and that went in the crapper, and trust me, under The Most Merciful, it’s goin’ back in! But don’t worry be happy, Jesus loves you!Report

      • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

        Palin is just an ideologically frail neocon with evangelical bonafides. Whether or not liberals are haranguing her is beside the point.Report

        • Avatar Kyle says:

          Besides your well made point, perhaps, but it’s a valid separate point. Sarah Palin was the vice-presidential candidate on a ticket that was the most guaranteed to lose ticket since McGovern.

          Her presence, her lack of qualifications, her statements were all irrelevant by September 28th. Yet the nation’s discussion of/obsession with Governor Palin continues. I think it’s a valid question why there seems to be far more liberal outrage and disgust with Sarah Palin than with say the Burmese military junta?

          Finally, I think our collective national reaction to her has been an incredibly vivid and telling example of how severe class/cultural divisions in this country are today.Report

        • Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

          Well, I like the ring of that E.D., but what if she has a ‘come to Jesus’ moment?Report

    • Avatar ChrisWWW says:

      ” It’s almost like a panic reaction because they’re afraid she will set off some kind of spontaneous support from the hoi polloi, so she must be destroyed. This over-reaction helps Palin more than it hurts her”
      I’ve always thought this line of reasoning was just wishful thinking.

      She was strongly opposed because she was an atrocious joke of a candidate. And despite (or IMO, because of) fierce criticisms, her poll numbers tanked and McCain lost the election.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Dude. The Democrats would have needed to run Mitt Romney to lose against John McCain/Anyfriggin’body in 2008.Report

      • Avatar JB says:

        She drew far more people than she repelled. Many Americans do not like Sentators and do like people who want government to get out of the way.Report

  3. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    Nope mike.
    My initial reaction.

    I said, last summer, that Sarah Palin would split the republican party right along the intellectual faultline. Even before she made her convention speech, my friends and I called her Stepford Barbie and joked that her prairie bun ‘do concealed a controller so Team McCain could manipulate her. We thought her heartland pageant speak was super-hilarious. From our college-educated youth demographic perspective she was simply ridiculous. We didn’t think she was hawt……she looked like our mothers.

    My demographic? We have always thought Palin was a joke.
    When people persist in declaiming her manifest glories, we lose patience, and just tell them what we really think.
    She is a retard.
    And we mean that in the Urban Dictionary sense of course.Report

  4. Avatar mike farmer says:

    “I’ve always thought this line of reasoning was just wishful thinking.”

    I hope this is not a sly way of suggesting I support her. I don’t have the strong reaction against that the liberals and moderates do, but I don’t support any Republicans who maintain the interventionist/nationalistic mindset that I believe she embraces. However, if she grew in her political philosophy and began taking a more libertarian stance, I could take a second look. Many of her ideas which pertain to classic liberalism are in line with the way I think, but she still lacks that well-rounded understanding of the issues and relies on the prefab conservatism John Schwenkler was talking about.Report

    • Avatar Travis says:

      Sarah Palin lacks a well-rounded understanding of the issues because she doesn’t have a political philosophy. She has only an naked ambition for power, and will essentially espouse whatever she thinks is best suited to achieve it.

      Just look at the Bridge to Nowhere debacle. She publicly supported building the bridge, used it as a plank in her gubernatorial platform and made a campaign appearance in Ketchikan posing with a “Nowhere, Alaska” T-shirt

      Then, as soon as it became apparent that she could have national play, she turned on the bridge, removed it from the budget citing “inaccurate portrayals” in the media — and then, as VP candidate, tried to take credit for killing it to bolster her budget-hawk credentials!

      Sarah Palin’s approval rating in Alaska is down to 54%. Right now, she has as much national political future as the Governator — which is to say, none at all.Report

  5. Avatar mike farmer says:

    I really would like to see leaders (and anyone discussing the issues) on both sides start talking in authenic language which is not so dependent on cliches.Report

  6. Avatar Herb says:

    I’ll never forgive Sarah Palin for her “real America” remarks. Maybe that makes me an unforgiving, uncharitable goat of a man, but that’s how it goes.Report

  7. Avatar greginak says:

    Where is this huge liberal focus on her? I must have missed it over the last few months. Andrew Sullivan, an idiosyncratic conservative, talks about her most.Report

    • Avatar mike farmer says:

      What planet do you live on?Report

      • Avatar mike farmer says:

        Oh, I see you qualified that with the “last 2 months” LOL — where did that timeframe come from?Report

        • Avatar greginak says:

          The election has been over for a while. Liberals are not focusing on her. The media has a hard on for her as do many republicans.Report

          • Avatar mike farmer says:

            . “The media has a hard on for her ”

            That’s what I said — the liberal over-reaction.Report

            • Avatar greginak says:

              oh sorry i forgot your conservative religious beliefs taht the media,except for the stuff you like, is completely liberal.Report

              • Avatar mike farmer says:

                You didn’t forget your tendency to assume everyone who disagrees with you is conservative and religious — I’m neither. Again, what planet?Report

              • Avatar JB says:

                The media isn’t liberal? Are you retarded? The MSM is ridiculously liberal.Report

              • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

                I just love it when people start wielding the “are you retarded?” axe. But in all fairness, the media may be a little more liberal than it is conservative – but it is mainly pro-business and pro-consumerism which is really a bi-partisan affair. And yes, pro-sensationalism especially. So it doesn’t really matter if it’s conservative or liberal. I don’t think the one truly conservative media outlet – Fox – is doing much good for conservatives. It’s doing a lot more good for sensationalism.Report

              • Avatar JB says:

                It’s of course other things besides liberal, but it is far more conservative than liberal (with Fox being a larger exception). This is fairly easy to spot as a libertarian.

                Just look at the stem cell funding reporting. It was awful and there was a complete lack of context that plenty of private research was taking place without government funding.Report

  8. Avatar Jim Treacher says:

    At least [Biden] can put a few sentences together before he says something stupid.

    He can’t put on his pants without saying something stupid.Report

  9. Avatar Neil says:

    “I really would like to see leaders (and anyone discussing the issues) on both sides start talking in authenic language which is not so dependent on cliches.”

    I doubt I’ll ever forget watching those in attendance at the Republican Convention cheering “Drill, Baby, Drill.” I share your hope, Mike, but I don’t think the day when this sort of jingoism is expunged from the current political discourse.Report

  10. Avatar Neil says:

    P.S. I meant to say that the day isn’t coming anytime soon.Report

  11. Avatar Freddie says:

    I’m sorry, but the people saying “this helps Palin” are trading in irrelevancies. Look at the polling numbers from the end of the campaign or since: Sarah Palin is an extremely unpopular politician on a national level. Extremely. She is not now and has never represented any kind of a national political threat. And why? Because she appeals to a thin slice of the electorate that demographics are making thinner and thinner by the day. Too many comments playing by the last generation of politics rules.Report

  12. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I happened to stop by Sully’s and he’s talking about her again.

    It’s… it’s odd. You gotta admit: It’s odd.Report

    • Avatar matoko_chan says:

      Well Jaybird….shez running.
      That is why ppl are talking about her.
      She has to run in 2012…she will be post-menopausal if she waits until 2016.
      Survival of the Prettiest doesn’t work without the fertile factor.Report

    • Avatar matoko_chan says:

      AND….Palin blew up the myth that a non-elite could lead.
      Team McCain thought they could groom her into another stealth elite….FAIL.
      She is going to get the nom, and she will lose.
      But the base is already tightbeamed onto the anti-elite mantra. So they won’t be spoofed anymore….they are going to insist on the “realdeal” from here on in.
      A viable political party cannot survive without elites.

      That is why I think the GOP is doomed.Report

    • Avatar Freddie says:

      It isn’t, actually, because she continues to run a daily media campaign. She and her handlers put her out there on every issue, doing media and making statements constantly. If a sitting governor wants to retreat from the national political scene, they have every ability to do so. She has decided to remain in the public eye, to an absurd degree, and as it is the responsibility of the members of a democratic society to critique the politics of political leaders, I can’t understand how anyone can say that she should be off limits.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        I’m not saying that she should be “off limits”, Freddie.

        I’m more looking at the nature and force of his criticisms of her and seeing them as… odd.

        This is not my questioning his “right” to talk about her (or whatever he wants). This is not even a defense of her, her gender, her body parts, or her children.

        I could get each one of his (multiple!) posts about her from the last 24 hours and break each down (amateur psychotherapy!) and talk about how his… let’s call it “focus”… on Palin is odd and then we could hammer that out… and then you could explain how, no, she’s in the public eye and, as such, discussing theories of Trig’s true origins (SHOW US THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE!!!) are not odd at all.

        If you’d be up for that, of course.Report

        • Avatar mike farmer says:

          Yes, I too believe anyone has a right to slam her and accuse her of anything they want to accuse her of, but it’s going to look strange if it’s excessive, over-the-top and full of crazy venom.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            The stuff about “she goes to a church where folks speak in tongues!!!” thing strikes me as fair… or, at least, as fair as questioning Romney’s, ahem, offshoot.

            The gender-based stuff was… well, it was odd.Report

        • Avatar matoko_chan says:

          It is not odd.
          From schmuckler’s thread–
          Look, Schmuckler (lol).
          The reason this story persists is a question of temperment.
          Sure, Sully got spoofed by by Palin concealing her pregnancy for 7 months.
          He should climb down from the who-is-Trig’s mom thing.
          But the important part is how Palin reacted, which is a template for how she might react to say, a threat of global-thermonuclear war.
          How could Palin have defused this situ?
          By opening her medical records, of course.
          Why didn’t she?
          Well….perhaps Sully is correct and there is something in there that won’t bear public scrutiny from her fanbase.
          The question I think SHOULD be asked, is…. why did she drive from Anchorage to Wasilla. The answer to that question would be informative for modelling Palin’s reasoning process in a crisis situ.
          The answer is not..”so Trig would be born in Alaska”….Anchorage is in Alaska. Anchorage has better facilities for a special needs child.
          So why?
          There may be a reasonable answer, but Sully is correct that Palin did not act in a responsible or reasonable manner in this instance.

          She could just answer that one question for meh….why drive to Wasilla from Anchorage, in labor with a special needs child, leaking amniotic fluid?
          If the answer is…that Palin was distracted by her pregnancy and not thinking rationally….then should she have her tubes tied before running for national office?

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            I’m not down with the whole “I have a list of the reproductive choices women should, and should not, make!!!” thing, myself.Report

            • Avatar matoko_chan says:

              okfine, JB. I believe in reproductive freedom, myself.
              All Palin has to do come up with a reasonable, rational explanation of why she drove that extra 45 minutes to an inferior hospital while leaking amniotic fluid and in labor with a special needs child.
              Let her answer the question then.
              I don’t think she can.Report

      • “She has decided to remain in the public eye, to an absurd degree…”

        I’ve little doubt that this is correct. On the other hand, I have even less doubt that the way to respond to her decision is to, in fact, grant her wish. There is no such thing as bad publicity, etc., etc.

        It’s one thing to criticize her positions, arguments, etc. It’s quite another to go after her character – at this point, just about everyone has made a decision about what they think of her as a person, and going after her character only makes people who have problems with her politically and stylistically but not more than that have sympathy for her.Report

        • Avatar Kyle says:

          Bad publicity = Mark Sanford, otherwise I think you’re 100% right here, Mark.Report

        • Avatar matoko_chan says:

          sowwy, her character and temperament, and her judgement and decisionmaking and problemsolving abilities ARE relevent to the position she is applying for.
          so far she is 0 for 5 in my estimation.Report

  13. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    Poll data.
    “Another tidbit from Pew’s findings: public impressions of Palin haven’t changed much since October, with her total favorability climbing three percent since then, compared to 10 percent for Romney since Feb. 2008. Those time periods are far different, but the way Pew presents it, Palin’s public image has crystallized in a polarizing fashion, and the public has more or less made up their minds about her, one way or the other.”Report

    • Avatar JB says:

      Romney/Palin wouldn’t be the worst ticket. A businessman and a semi-libertarian governor.Report

      • Avatar matoko_chan says:

        Loozer ticket.

        Palin/Jindal– the exorcism ticket
        Palin/Cryogenically Preserved Head of Jerry Fallwell– evangelical ticket
        Palin/Chuck Norris– roundhouse kick to the face ticketReport

      • Avatar Bob says:

        “Romney/Palin wouldn’t be the worst ticket.”

        I know what you mean. No. Wait. What!?Report

        • Avatar JB says:

          Anything with Huckabee would be worse. Anything with McCain would be worse. Anything I’ve heard seriously mentioned has been worse.

          At least with Romeny/Palin you could look for lower taxes and protection of gun rights. These days I would be happy with both of those.Report

  14. Avatar CEK says:

    Palin/Romney would be worse.Report

  15. Avatar Lucinda says:


    Millions of little members of the worldwide F.F.A. (Future Followers of the Antichrist) have finally learned how to find a certain part of their lower anatomy and quickly touch it while dancing – thanks to Michael Jackson, the highest paid Lower Anatomy Toucher of all time! Special thanks also go to the Jesus-bashing, Hell-bound Hollywood moguls who were just as quick to see higher profits in lower anatomies! [Just saw this opinion on the web. Other grabby items on MSN, Google, etc. include “Separation of Raunch and State,” “David Letterman’s Hate, Etc.,” “Tribulation Index becomes Rapture Index,” and “Bible Verses Obama Avoids.” – something for everyone!]Report