the maudlin man


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.

Related Post Roulette

17 Responses

  1. Avatar Dan Summers says:

    One minor quibble — the idea that liberals aren’t free to criticize Obama is nonsense. Witness the criticism he has gotten from the left flank for his tepid support of a public option. Or his inaction on closing Guantanamo. Or his slow pace of reform with regard to gay rights.

    Other than that, I agree with the above.Report

    • Avatar Bob says:


      Carter writing such nonsense opens the entire essay to question. How could Carter even entertain, for one fleeting moment, the idea that Obama is off limits from his left? Where does this man live?

      Things that make you go hmm.Report

    • Avatar Katherine says:

      That was the bit that bugged me too. There are plenty of liberals who criticize Obama – just not based on the same things as the conservatives do.Report

    • Avatar Joe Carter says:

      Obama has been in office for over nine months and yet the only significant criticism I’ve seen coming from the left is Krugman and Greenwald. Who else is criticizing him in public? Liberals may grumble amongst themselves, but I don’t see a lot of open criticism? Am I simply missing it?Report

      • Avatar greginak says:

        do you read any of the lib blogosphere???????Report

      • Avatar Katherine says:

        Krugman and Greenwald are pretty significant liberal voices, and I don’t see them being denounced by other liberals for their criticisms, either, like conservatives are when the criticize the talk-show/Beckist right. Ta-Nehisi Coates on the Atlantic has a mix of praise and criticism. Sullivan (if you consider him a liberal) has plenty to say against Obama’s acceptance of torture.Report

      • Avatar Dan Summers says:

        I would also submit last night’s “Saturday Night Live” skit about Obama.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        You are obviously missing it — Obama nearly from the beginning has been held to be highly suspect as a “true” progressive — at least since the FISA flop, if not during the primary. The question is why have you missed it?Report

    • Avatar Bob says:

      America Blog

      Daily Kos

      Huffington Post

      Talking Points MemoReport

      • Avatar Bob says:

        And then there is Frank Rich. Rich is pretty constant in his criticism of the administration.

        “Obama would have looked stronger if he’d stood up more proactively to the screamers along the way, or at least to the ones not packing guns. As the Roosevelt biographer Jean Edward Smith has reminded us, it didn’t harm the New Deal for F.D.R. to tell a national radio audience on election eve 1936 that he welcomed the ‘hatred’ of his enemies.”

  2. Avatar Louis B. says:

    I can’t say I’m surprised by this. Beck’s faux-emotionalism was one of the creepiest aspects of his persona.

    Joe Carter is right to say that the conservative movement is not chiefly influenced by the likes of Burke and Hayek, but I wouldn’t exactly describe it (or Ayn Rand) as libertarian populism (more like anything-but-communism). Carter completely glosses over the militarist aspects of contemporary conservatism, allowing him for example to paint Ron Paul (who for all his faults is nonetheless an outsider) as a movement god Whose Words Must Not Be Questioned.

    Did I say “glosses over”? I meant IGNORES COMPLETELY. This is like talking about Idiocracy without mentioning the bell curve.Report

    • Avatar Joe Carter says:

      As I wrote in the comments section to the original post, it’s not Paul that’s the problem. Like Palin, he has ceased to be a real politician (in the eyes of many of his supporters) and become the embodiment of their ideals. While Paul put himself up as someone who should not be criticized, his supporters often do. (Though to be fair, the Palinistas are even worse. I used to support Palin too. But she is not the person her supporters are making her out to be.)Report

      • Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

        Joe, trying to have a conversation with libruls!
        How nice!
        That’s kind-a like talking about the Book of Romans in a whorehouse.Report

      • Avatar Louis B. says:

        As a matter of fact, you said that the right had a cult of personality that cannot be criticised (a dubious assertion on its own) and included Paul (and Ayn Rand!) amongst that number. But whatever.

        I simply don’t see what’s wrong with the ideals he embodies, which represent a breath of fresh air compared to the conservative establishment of the past.

        I’m interested in your reasons for completely ignoring militarism as an important (heck, the main) component of movement conservatism.Report