Happy Meal Conservatism

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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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66 Responses

  1. Avatar Pat Cahalan
    Ignored
    says:

    >And saying that the mentally ill should not be allowed to own guns
    > opens a really huge bag of worms

    … it sure does…

    > that I’m not sure people ought to wade into at the moment

    I agree, for the same reasoning behind the TSA. Statistically unlikely events cause people to act like morons when they occur; setting policy when you’re acting like a moron is generally not a great idea.

    > – and even if there were laws preventing the mentally ill from
    > owning guns, at the time of the shooting, Loughner had never
    > been diagnosed with any mental illness.

    Yes, and unfortunately it’s all too easy to look at a video or three and say, “Jesus, that guy was off his freaking nut!” in hindsight. But people do and say all sorts of stuff that sounds like they’re off their freaking nut and then get up and go to work for 30 years and die of a heart attack after being a perfectly respectable citizen for the duration of their adult life, too.

    The gun stuff comes about because a lot of people are disproportionately scared of guns, and “some nut goes on a shooting rampage” sparks their terror. Just like all the anti-terrorism stuff comes about because a lot of people are disproportionately scared of terrorists, really.Report

    • Avatar James K in reply to Pat Cahalan
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      says:

      It’s quite remarkable how badly skewed our risk perceptions can be. When you think about cars are more dangerous than guns in many regards and I’ve read that you’re more likely to die by meteorite strike than terrorism.Report

      • Avatar Pat Cahalan in reply to James K
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        says:

        Well, lightning strike.. almost. 753 people died from lightning strikes from 1990 to 2003, terrorism (thanks to 9/11) beats that out.

        Meteor strikes, considerably less common. I don’t believe that there is a well substantiated case of death by meteorite in recent history.

        Cars are more dangerous than guns, in many regards (for example, our recent nut could probably have just driven a truck through the crowd at this Safeway, looks like, and gotten a comparable body count. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gabrielle_Giffords_shooting_scene.jpg

        Statistical quibbling aside, your point is taken.Report

        • Avatar Will H. in reply to Pat Cahalan
          Ignored
          says:

          Although statistically, more people may well suffer fatality in carjackings than from skinnydipping in the gator pond at chow time, I think I’d still prefer to be a bit more careful where I might take my recreation.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Pat Cahalan
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          says:

          “Meteor strikes, considerably less common. I don’t believe that there is a well substantiated case of death by meteorite in recent history.”

          I want to say that the only case(s?) of death by meteorite exist in ancient Chinese records.

          Ann Hodges, however, was hit in the leg by one after it crashed through her roof. Of course, this happened in Alabama.

          It is now called the Meteorite of Northern Aggression.Report

        • Avatar James K in reply to Pat Cahalan
          Ignored
          says:

          My Source for the meteorite strike figures is Death from the Skies by Dr Phil Plait. It includes the risk of an extinction-level meteorite, which naturally wouldn’t be included in historical data.Report

  2. Avatar Pat Cahalan
    Ignored
    says:

    Oh, and for the record I think Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck are generally bad for intelligent discourse as they teach very bad thinking.. so taken from that viewpoint they’re probably bad for a reasonably balanced, credible voter base, and thus, from a karmic balance standpoint, they’re bad for democracy.

    That said, I really doubt that they have a level of influence that anybody needs to flip out about. Most people don’t vote, period. I’d hazard a guess that for every utterly uninformed moron who votes because Ann Coulter told ‘im so, there’s close to one other utterly uninformed moron who votes because Jenny McCarthy told him his autistic child is part of the CDC’s collusion with big pharma to feed off the corpse of the American people. If democracy can’t survive Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, Robert Murdoch, Keith Olbermann, Daily Kos, and the blogosphere… it’s not going to survive anyway.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Pat Cahalan
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      says:

      Absolutely.

      I tend to get the idea that the Coulters and Becks are the conservative version of comedians. Maybe boundaries are pushed but that’s part of the fun. The important part is the being told some version of “it’s okay to feel the things you feel, you aren’t alone”.

      And so the world has come full circle. Conservatives feel like they’re transgressive and they go to comedians who make them laugh and feel better… while the establishment rails against how boundaries need to be respected.

      Lenny Bruce would not be able to stop laughing.Report

      • Avatar gregiank in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        Thats all fine. Two things though. I can’t wrap my head around laughing at being called a traitor. Do they have a right to say and if they so choose have it on bumper stickers on the back of their care: Yup. But once they cross that line I’m going to struggle to take them seriously and not to hate them Now my choice for people i dislike is to ignore or clown on them. I’ve toyed with making some “hilarious” jokes about their wives getting raped…but that would be crossing my own lines. The thing about the treason charge which has been flung about by many on the right is that is also makes think” shit i’m glad my dad didn’t live to see this.” My dad was a ww2 vet and liberal all his life and i’m glad he never had to hear that.

        I don’t think the country will fall because of this kind of crap. But where does it lead us? how do we talk? It doesn’t have to lead to mass murder to be poison.

        I picture Bruce not being gentle in his handling of coulter or beck. I think he knew a counter culture when he saw one and conservatives just aint it.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to gregiank
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          says:

          Do you remember Andrew Dice Clay? Sam Kinison? Hell, Redd Foxx?

          Can you wrap your head around someone else being called something outrageous and it being funny?

          Or, at least, at someone else laughing at such?

          “Well, only really deviant people would find such comedians to be funny.”

          You wouldn’t believe what was said about the folks who enjoyed Lenny Bruce.

          I’m sure that Lenny would not be gentle *AT ALL* about Coulter or Beck.

          I’m also sure that he’d find it pretty goddamn funny that he’d be considered a goddamn hero while the conservatives were being pilloried.Report

    • Avatar Hyena in reply to Pat Cahalan
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      says:

      I doubt they’re bad for intelligent discourse. Since they’re not engaged in intelligent discussion, they’re not part of it and so can’t harm it.

      But it probably goes deeper: people who are attracted to Coulterisms and Becktravaganzas are probably naturally disposed towards it and against “intelligent discourse”. So it’s not as if there’s a loss of potential discussants.Report

      • Avatar Pat Cahalan in reply to Hyena
        Ignored
        says:

        > Since they’re not engaged in intelligent discussion, they’re
        > not part of it and so can’t harm it.

        Engaging in this sort of close-minded group think can kill your critical thinking skills. They harm intelligent discussion by limiting the audience; have you ever tried to have a reasonable conversation with someone who speaks in nothing but talking points?Report

      • Avatar James K in reply to Hyena
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        says:

        In addition to Pat’s point there’s also the prospect that the Republican party is being damaged by constant resort to this rhetoric. You can very easily get a vicious cycle where more reasonable voices are silenced or driven out of the party, leading to even more extreme rhetoric and so on.

        Having one political party going off the reservation can’t be good for American political debate.Report

  3. Avatar trizzlor
    Ignored
    says:

    Kevin Williamson has a good post on why stricter gun laws wouldn’t have made a damn bit of difference in the Loughner shooting.

    That’s not quite how I read it. Williamson makes the very specific point that the Assault Weapons Ban would have been only a nominal deterrent: “The only difference the AWB is likely to have made is that the shooter would have had a used magazine instead of a new one (assuming he did in fact have a new one), and he probably would have paid five bucks more for it.” First of all, by Williamson’s own admission, the AWB would have made some difference – Laughner would have had to seek out a used clip instead of going to the gun shop and thinking “ooh, I’ll take that too”. Weather this would have been much of a deterrent we cannot know, as Williamson merely asserts that high-capacity magazines were easy to obtain without any supporting evidence (and some of the commenters disagree). But certainly an all-out ban on high-capacity magazines, as exists in many states, would have made quite a damn bit of difference.Report

    • Avatar Pat Cahalan in reply to trizzlor
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      says:

      Having read a bit about spree shooting, I’m not certain that a lack of a high capacity magazine would have had a positive effect.

      More likely, he would just have carried more guns, as most spree shooters do. Then instead of grabbing the magazine, Patricia Maisch might have been trying to wrestle away a loaded secondary or tertiary firearm.

      Second-guessing these situations is always a dicey proposition, of course.Report

      • Avatar trizzlor in reply to Pat Cahalan
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        says:

        Well … he would have had to carry three guns just to get off the first clip, and then reload three times as frequently. Obviously, he chose not to carry more than one. I’m not going to go much beyond the simple math though as you’re right about second-guessing.Report

  4. Avatar Koz
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m substantially more sympathetic to the Derbyshire piece than I was when it came out, though I do have at least one quibble.

    In contrast to Derb’s assertion, almost all liberalism in modern American political culture is lowbrow liberalism, and it’s marketed very well as highbrow, or at least middlebrow.

    When the intellectual case for liberalism collapses, as it has during the Obama Administration, what’s left over is inchoate anger, which is what we see from the entire Left.Report

    • Avatar MFarmer in reply to Koz
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      says:

      Yes, regardless of what one thinks of conservativism, and, I agree, it is not comprehensive and consistent, not particularly enlightening, brave or cutting edge, but the intellectual emptiness among liberals is painful — they’ve been socially blackmailed by progressives/State power-mongers, and this social block to anything “right” ,whether it’s intelligent right or not, keeps them in a state of babbling obscurantism and submission to a dying statist ideology. When all the passion of liberals is directed at the flaws of conservatives, rather than a clear-eyed, creative vision for the future, it reveals intellectual defensivness covering up a lack of conviction. Statism has brought us to a crisis point, and all the liberals can do is beat up on Beck for poining out the crisis, even if it does seem hysterical at times — the hyperbolic tactics of Beck are less important than really understanding our serious problems, accepting them and looking for innovative solutions, regardless if the solutions lean right or left — more government and more spending are not innovative.Report

      • Avatar Koz in reply to MFarmer
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        says:

        Absolutely. And what’s worse is the ability of the Left to persuade or intimidate people from various eccentric political places to buy into their hatred and antipathy toward the mainstream Right.Report

        • Avatar Francis in reply to Koz
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          says:

          The two of you make a perfect example of the closure of the so-called conservative discourse. Please feel free to continue to persuade each other of the correctness of your opinions and the vacuity of your political opponents. I’m sure you’ll impress no one but each other, and possibly Bob Cheeks.Report

          • Avatar Koz in reply to Francis
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            says:

            Well by all means join in then. There’s no reason to let us right-wingers have all the fun. And take a look at this while you’re at it:

            http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2011/01/what_is_cornuco.html

            As Henderson points out, it’s an inappropriate way for a professor to address undergraduates, though certainly many of them deserve it. It’s a horrible way to treat a colleague, whether there’s a contentious point of disagreement or not.

            Let’s note how, intentionally or not, DeLong evades the substance of the matter. Substantively, Henderson’s response writes itself: why should we think that $20/bbl oil represents a cornucopia of energy instead of some other standard. Now, it’s possible that that such a thing could in principle be done and that DeLong would be able to do it.

            But because he focuses on projecting bitterness and anger, he neglects to do it. This allows DeLong (and liberals like him) to persist in the delusion that their arguments are unchallenged. Now, my answer for this is simple: liberals have nothing really to contribute and should get out of the way of those who do. But whether they do or don’t, like Mike wrote they will ultimately be judged on the real solutions they can propagate and implement (or lack thereof). Therefore, to the extent that liberalism in America has any legitimacy, opposition to the Right can only be part of the story, it can never be the whole story.Report

            • Avatar Francis in reply to Koz
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              says:

              Liberals have nothing to contribute? Sure, except the first major step toward a reasonable health care funding system in a generation, a major attempt to re-privatize risk in the financial system, overseeing the successful bankruptcy and re-emergence of the automobile sector, passing a stimulus package that substantially diminished the size and effect of the Great Recession, passed the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, expanded SCHIP, substantially expanded spending on heavy infrastructure, passed the credit card accountability law, got the START treaty through the Senate, abolished Don’t Ask / Don’t Tell, and cut taxes on 95% of workers who pay income taxes.

              If liberals have nothing to offer, why is it that a recent poll found 81% of American scientists are Democrats or lean Democratic?

              Republicans, as best I can tell, stand for the principle that rich people should pay fewer taxes, fighting two wars with borrowed money and a lot of contractors is a good idea, and that there’s a line item in the budget of every single government agency labeled ‘waste, fraud and abuse’, which if cut would balance the budget.

              Sure, conservatives say that they want smaller government. But they never vote for it. They vote instead for standard-issue Republicans like John Boehner who can’t name a program that’s going to get cut. That’s not governance; that’s wishful thinking.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Francis
                Ignored
                says:

                Let’s note that your supposed list of accomplishments are in fact political events and their actual state of accomplishment is nebulous at best. I doubt very much that you are offering any accountability for the stimulus package or the healthcare bill or anything else for that matter.

                We can continue in this vein if you like, but let’s not lose sight of the original point, which was that the primary output of the establishment, mainstream Left is rancor toward our team. And it’s not just Brad DeLong either.

                Consider John Cole and his site Balloon Juice (Erik contributes there periodically). For the last week or so just prior to the Arizona shooting, the site was consumed with an internet raspberry that Sullivan gave to some separate blogger for expressing his wish that William Kristol should die in a fire.

                It’s a little bit of a mystery to me why Cole et al thought that’s so important, but in any case Cole, multiple contributors and the vast majority of commenters there set about defending the blogger (who goes by Tbogg I believe) and expressing their independent desire that yes, William Kristol should die in a fire, and so should the rest of the Rethuglican teatards, etc, &c.

                Now, there’s not very much interesting that’s written there and if you didn’t see this already you’re not missing much. But this problem isn’t some sort of anomaly, this is the heart of mainstream liberal discourse in America. Somehow this has to be gotten around before liberals can make a positive contribution to American political culture (if they have a positive contribution to make which we can take up further if you’d like).Report

          • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Francis
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            says:

            Francis, Koz impresses me. Join us, turn toward the light, recognize the darkness of the statist regime. We call you as friends!Report

  5. Avatar Robert Cheeks
    Ignored
    says:

    The real problem with the Becks, Coulters, Limbaughs, etc. is that they mock and deride Leftist political philosophy while explaining the derailed thinking of the Leftin in the plain language of “the people”.
    Another problem with them is that they tend to lean toward paleo-conservatism rather than neoconservatism/or RINO’s, although you’re right, Rush et al rallied behind the Neo/RINO George Bush who took them all down the toilet in ’08 and opened the executive to our Kenyan-Marxist.
    I think Rush has learned his lesson as he has rallied on the Tea Party and fired any number of recent salvos across the boughs of sundry Neos.
    Rush and his friends made being a ‘conservative’ ok, and he explained why it’s ok to embrace American conservatism rather than a perverse, foreign, ideology. He destroyed the librul hold on the masses and provided a ‘reason’ for Reagan Democrats not to return to the moribund Democratic Party, and many did not return. Rush Limbaugh and his colleagues have litterly changed the face of American politics for the better and saved this country from being captured by librulism.
    The truth is, that if Rush and his friends were not very successful at what it is they do (illustrate the foolishness of librulism) we wouldn’t be having this discussion.Report

    • Avatar mistermix in reply to Robert Cheeks
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      says:

      I think you insult real paleocons when you say that Limbaugh and Coulter lean that way. Paleocons hold a consistent anti-imperialist, small government view of the world, and there’s no way to call those two that since they aligned with the expansionist, interventionist Bush administration when it was politically convenient. Daniel Larison, to name a self-identified paleocon, regularly writes in opposition to the Limbaugh agenda. Here’s an example:

      http://www.amconmag.com/larison/2008/10/26/part-of-the-problem/

      “The Limbaugh approach recommended to his audience (which hasn’t been 20 million-strong in years) is that Republicans and conservatives have made no mistakes and need to learn nothing, except that they were not hard-core and true-believing enough according to whatever caricature of conservatism Limbaugh claims to represent, which actually might not be so very conservative after all.”Report

      • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to mistermix
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        says:

        Oh I agree with your purest differentiation re: paleos. However, not everyone shares the absolutist opinion. Some prefer to align with ‘other’ conservatives and actually keep libruls outta power. But, you’re right about Rush’s aligning with Bush II, a Neo/RINO, to keep Algore and
        what’s-his-name outta the executive.
        My guess is Rush is a political realist and went with the best opportunity to keep the Leftists out of power.
        Me, I prefer John Randolph of Roanoke in the midst of a grave depression over our Kenyan-Marxist and the Chicago crew.Report

        • Avatar mistermix in reply to Robert Cheeks
          Ignored
          says:

          So, essentially, as long as he calls himself a “conservative”, and even if that changes, that’s OK with you?

          In other words, you accept and embrace Larison’s critique, but think it’s irrelevant. Team membership is key, and what the team leader says is what goes.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to mistermix
            Ignored
            says:

            This is something that I noticed under Clinton/Gingrich.

            It doesn’t matter who you’re defending.
            It only matters who you’re defending *AGAINST*.Report

          • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to mistermix
            Ignored
            says:

            MM, dude, as I said I’m paleo. Sadly, only about six people in the country follow me. That means I’ve got to join a coalition to defeat the commie-Dems represented by our Kenyan-Marxist president. Right now, Barry must be defeated in the ’12 election. My prayer is we’ll get a ‘real’ conservative and he/she will push toward a reduction in federal spending, paying off the nat’l debt, etc.
            But, my purest Paelo impulses can not succeed along. I’ve got to get neo’s, rino’s, and commie-dems who have come to Jesus to join with me.
            I admire your stalwart faith, but you must convert that into a realism that recognizes the wisdom of my words. You don’t have to compromise, but you can’t continue to beat the rinos/neos to death, they aren’t the real enemy, the statist commie-dem is!Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Robert Cheeks
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              says:

              Bob, let’s go to the tape.

              The reason the Republicans were in the wilderness was because when they had the opportunity of a lifetime they not only wasted it like the lazy servant who buried his talent in the ground but called for a Golden Calf of government that they used their own gold to make and then danced in front of it, worshiping it.

              You sit there now and make noises about the Commie-dems who afflict you… No, I tell you. The Commie-dems are the scourge from the Lord. Because you chose to worship the Golden Calf of Government as if Government was your friend, your leader, your help-meet.

              You wanted your idol? You got it. Made with your own gold.

              Are you surprised that you no longer feel like dancing?Report

              • Avatar Francis in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                For the record, I and my ilk are not scourges from the Lord; we have been touched by the noodly appendage of the Flying Spagghetti Monster, rAmen.Report

              • Avatar mark boggs in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Jaybird,

                You might be one of the few people on this site who literally has no definable position on our current political spectrum. I think I like that. Also, you’re one hell of a devil’s advocate no matter the subject.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to mark boggs
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                says:

                “Libertarian Nutball” covers most of it.Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Actually JB, in my own defense, I railed against the great Satan Neo-Con Bush II and his war to ‘take democracy to the gnostic-Muslims.’
                But, they did not hear my pleas.
                You are right to castigate me for I did not listen to the words of the Lord, and now I wander the desert, my hair shirt clinging to my body reminding me of the deceit of the Neo-cons.
                Yeah, now I seek a coalition to destroy the spawn of Satan, that invidious Kenyan-Marxist, and drive his seed into the slough of despond where they will dwell among the bitter fruits.
                And, so it is that I seek the coalition; I seek those who would restore the olde republic and turn away from the darkness of the socialist’s dreamers.
                Yea, though we are oppressed, our oppressors will be driven away from the light of truth and wisdom…in the name of God, Himself.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Robert Cheeks
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                says:

                Yeah, now I seek a coalition to destroy the spawn of Satan, that invidious Kenyan-Marxist, and drive his seed into the slough of despond where they will dwell among the bitter fruits.

                Dude. Obama isn’t even the spawn of Malcolm X, let alone Satan.

                He’s a mediocre president presiding over a mediocre time. He doesn’t need to be defeated. He just needs an opponent that isn’t obviously worse than him.

                The problem with the Conservatives is that they thought that they could make an Idol of the State worthy of getting the masses to worship instead of the opposition’s Idol.

                Congrats. We’ve now got an electorate used to Idol Worship and they’ve been conditioned by both the left and the right. All the electorate hears is an echo, not a choice.

                The Republicans deserve the wilderness until they learn how to speak.

                Think Zachariah. The Republicans didn’t believe the messages from Gabriel himself… and, even now!, they are mute.

                Stop looking for coalitions. Stop looking to destroy enemies. That’s not what you need to do right now. Instead, you need to practice your line:

                “His name is John.”

                Until you can say that, you will remain mute for a good long while.Report

              • Avatar Heidegger in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Jaybird: “The Republicans deserve the wilderness until they learn how to speak.”

                What wilderness? They just picked up a record- breaking 63 House seats and 7 Senate seats.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Heidegger
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                says:

                Sure they did.

                And yet they still deserve the wilderness.

                “Why do they still deserve the wilderness?”, I hear you ask.

                Just watch. Keep watching.Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Heidegger
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                says:

                And, if the Repubs ‘deserve the Wilderness’, what, if anything, do the commie-dems deserve?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Heidegger
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                says:

                In this world? Or the next?

                Because, when it comes to the next, I’d say that God most likely has that covered.

                When it comes to this world, I tend to think that God spends a great deal more time talking about how you need to do what you need to do than He spends talking about how much you need to worry about what other people are doing.

                Adam in Genesis 3:12 is *NOT* a role model for how to deal with answering the question of why everything went Tango Uniform.Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Heidegger
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                says:

                Well, I love this:
                “When it comes to this world, I tend to think that God spends a great deal more time talking about how you need to do what you need to do than He spends talking about how much you need to worry about what other people are doing.”

                And, I love it when you go cryptic/mystic on me, but, if as you say (judge?) the GOPers deserve the political “wilderness”; what, I can’t get a straight answer on what the commie-dems deserve?
                Has the betrayal of the GOP struck you so low as to turn you, forever, toward what….nihilism? To cull you outta the fight? To reduce you to an observer in the culture wars?Report

              • Avatar Pat Cahalan in reply to Heidegger
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                says:

                This, by the way, is my favorite exchange this week. Apologies for intruding, carry on.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Heidegger
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                says:

                The wages of sin is death, Bob.

                When I was growing up, I was told (quite regularly) that I should expect the “worldly” to be better off than those “not of this world”.

                We don’t build our treasures here, I was told. Remember the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man? Yeah, we told that one a lot.

                So as for “what they deserve”, they will see their plans crash around their ears because commie-demism, as has been demonstrated by the 20th Century, is not sustainable and will not work for more than a generation or two.

                I’m a culture war pacifist, for the most part.

                The Gods of the Copybook Headings are right, of course… and they’ll come back as soon as enough call for them. In the meantime, there’s little I can do beyond tending me and mine.Report

              • Avatar Transplanted Lawyer in reply to Heidegger
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                says:

                Why is it, then, that I am driving around in a 2004 Altima with the Darwin Fish on its rear end, while I seem to see those “NOTW” stickers exclusively on the back of 2010 Escalades and Lexuses? By the objective standard that really counts (the quality of the car one drives), those “NOTW” people seem to be living a much more comfortable lifestyle in this world as opposed to the next world in which the Bible tells them to expect to do even better.

                (“Lexuses”? “Lexii”? I still don’t think there is a definitive ruling on that one.)Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Heidegger
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                says:

                Why is it, then, that I am driving around in a 2004 Altima with the Darwin Fish on its rear end, while I seem to see those “NOTW” stickers exclusively on the back of 2010 Escalades and Lexuses?

                My assumption is that there isn’t a God, let alone a Holy Spirit.

                One would think that if there were one, He would make Himself manifest in His followers so that those of us who could not hear His voice could at least see His fingerprints.Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Heidegger
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                says:

                Well, you know from your ‘raisin’ up’ that He’s calling you..but we gotta listen for that still, sometimes ‘small’ voice….sometimes thunderous. Somewhere in this dialectic we might stumble across the idea of the ‘fear of God,’ but maybe not.
                I don’t think the ‘spirit’ can be totally destroyed in a living being; surpressed, damaged, beaten, and rejected yes, but not destroyed.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                “His name is John.”

                Actually, the walrus was Paul.Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Well JB my favorite interlocutor, we’re going to have to agree to disagree re: His Magnificence, as I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions.
                This Son of the Third World, the Scourge of America, is God’s punishment on the nation for turning away (apostrophe) and embracing the demon, Amor sui (formerly known as Pazzuzzu, god of the east wind).
                Whatever Barry is, he is not ‘mediocre.’Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Robert Cheeks
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                says:

                Dude. He’s not even Jimmy Carter.Report

              • Avatar Pat Cahalan in reply to Robert Cheeks
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                says:

                Oh, he’s at least Jimmy Carter. The girls think he’s cute and he’s a snappy dresser and occasionally he makes a good speech. That’s three up on Jimmy.Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Robert Cheeks
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                says:

                We’ll have to agree to disagree on Barry, though I’m ambivilant at to whether he’s really ignorant or his plan is moving, nicely, along..so far I’m opting for the latter.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Robert Cheeks
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                says:

                The malaise speech was a damn good speech.

                It was downright conservative.

                It was the quisling Republicans hoping to score points who started yelling about “WHAT DO YOU MEAN TURN DOWN THE THERMOSTAT AND WEAR A SWEATER??? DID WE LOSE A WAR????” instead of taking the opportunity to say “Turn down the damn thermostat and wear a goddamn sweater.”Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Robert Cheeks
                Ignored
                says:

                If I remember Jimmy lost the networks following the malaise speech.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Robert Cheeks
                Ignored
                says:

                The networks have never been fans of a Conservative viewpoint.Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Robert Cheeks
                Ignored
                says:

                No, they aren’t, however, I think even the commie-networks got tired of Jimmy’s pontificating and telling people how to live.
                If I remember, Billy, was the sharpest knife in that family’s drawer.Report

            • Avatar mistermix in reply to Robert Cheeks
              Ignored
              says:

              Sounds like you’re paleo-flexible to me.Report

  6. Avatar John Howard Griffin
    Ignored
    says:

    We inflame wild beasts with the smell of blood, and then innocently wonder at the wave of brutal appetite that sweeps the land as a consequence.

    – Mark Twain

    Report

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