This was probably always inevitable.


Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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40 Responses

  1. Avatar trizzlor says:

    No no, this is bad news. It’s one thing if the Right thinks the election was lost because of Sandy, or Minority Gifts, or Mitt’s RINO’ism, or even Benghazi-gate. Those are standard criticisms of culture. But we’re going to need a bigger boat if a significant number of people really feel that the election has been stolen by “the black states”, that’s a complete divorce from the political system.Report

  2. Avatar Sam says:

    Can you imagine how thrilled he was when “BarackoFraudo” dawned on him?

    “Come on Dean, COME ON! What are we going to call this thing? BarackObaNO? BarackOVoteNo? BarackOFRAUDO YES YES YES!!!” *many fist pumps*Report

  3. Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

    I think this is the scary thing for the part of the right-wing that wants to govern at some point in the future. For example, over at the NRO, there’s a perfectly reasonable piece by Jim Gerathy (sp?) that basically amounts to, “stop being such assholes, guys” and he’s basically being called a RINO apologist to the political correctness Marxists in the mainstream media by the commenters there, aside from a few sane people.

    White conservatives truly do feel as if they’re the minority being attacked instead of the most powerful group of people that have ever walked the planet.Report

    • Those of us around in 1996-98 will find this pretty familiar. But then the crazy people went forward to nominate a guy who billed himself as a compassionate conservative and spoke Spanish.

      What happens now may be how things look in 4 years, but it’s all pretty uncertain.Report

      • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Will Truman says:

        The difference is, in the 90’s, the crazy people couldn’t find large corners of the Internet to sympathize with each other how they were the silent minority, but voter fraud and gifts made Romney lose.Report

        • The 1996 election invented this stuff. Free Republic was founded in 1997.

          Fox News ascended about that time and was in full force by the time Bush was the coronated. They’d also long had AM radio, of course. The cocoon existed, even then.

          One big difference is that the countervailing voice – that things need to change within the party – is actually a lot stronger now than it was in 1996/97.Report

      • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto in reply to Will Truman says:

        Yeah, but do you remember how those crazy people staffed his cabinet?

        I mean the candidates themselves are important, but things like who has the ear of the OLC, or fills places in treasury, or even in basic cabinet secretary positions are pretty important.

        It’s not a long way from this to another “Heckuva Job, Brownie”Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

      Here’s the simple answer: they view progress as a personal insult, as a rejection of all they hold dear. Truth is, every year, there’s a fresh crop of 18 year old kids who are learning to make up their own minds. In turn, unless those 18 year old kids are very careful and keep their wits about them, when they get old, they’ll be decrying the changes society will surely bring to those future times.

      But today’s Conservatives would be unrecognisable by their parents’ and grandparents’ Conservatism. They changed their minds. They aren’t the ignorant, hateful racists their elders were. It’s abstracter: now their hatred of Obama is focussed on what they perceive as the Black States’ counter-racism: voting for Obama only because he’s black.

      I’m not black. I can’t speak for them, any more than I could speak for any other identifiable segment of the population. It’s just me, folks. I can only speak for myself with any authority. But if the exit polls were right, black people overwhelmingly voted for Obama. Can we infer anything from those numbers? Did they vote for him because he was black? White males overwhelmingly voted for Romney. Maybe the same is true of them, that they preferred a white guy.

      During the primaries, I told my g/f (Tea Party) that the mainline Conservatives would probably walk past Romney because he was a Mormon and couldn’t get the mainline Protestant vote. I was wrong. Even Billy Graham took LDS off his list of cults. Romney did get the nomination. Just goes to show the Conservatives do evolve.

      It’s sort of an existential problem. David Foster Wallace wrote an essay called Host. Here, he interviews John Ziegler:

      Q: It sounds like you’ve got serious personal reasons for disliking Political Correctness.

      A: “Oh my God, yes. My whole life has been ruined by it. I’ve lost relationships, I can’t get married, I can’t have kids, all because of Political Correctness. I can’t put anybody else through the crap I’ve been through. I can’t do it.”

      This extract cannot convey the full import of the level of sublimation involved, unless you’re reading the essay with all of DFW’s baroque footnotes in hand, (which are all available in Consider the Lobster and under the links on Atlantic’s site). Essentially, this Asshole Outrage you describe is all about ratings. The truth never matters.

      It is worth considering the strange media landscape in which political talk radio is a salient. Never before have there been so many different national news sources—different now in terms of both medium and ideology. Major newspapers from anywhere are available online; there are the broadcast networks plus public TV, cable’s CNN, Fox News, CNBC, et al., print and Web magazines, Internet bulletin boards, The Daily Show, e-mail newsletters, blogs. All this is well known; it’s part of the Media Environment we live in. But there are prices and ironies here. One is that the increasing control of U.S. mass media by a mere handful of corporations has—rather counterintuitively—created a situation of extreme fragmentation, a kaleidoscope of information options. Another is that the ever increasing number of ideological news outlets creates precisely the kind of relativism that cultural conservatives decry, a kind of epistemic free-for-all in which “the truth” is wholly a matter of perspective and agenda. In some respects all this variety is probably good, productive of difference and dialogue and so on. But it can also be confusing and stressful for the average citizen. Short of signing on to a particular mass ideology and patronizing only those partisan news sources that ratify what you want to believe, it is increasingly hard to determine which sources to pay attention to and how exactly to *distinguish real information from spin.

      *EDITORIAL ASIDE Of course, this is assuming one believes that information and spin are different things—and one of the dangers of partisan news’s metastasis is the way it enables the conviction that the two aren’t really distinct at all. Such a conviction, if it becomes endemic, alters democratic discourse from a “battle of ideas” to a battle of sales pitches for ideas (assuming, again, that one chooses to distinguish ideas from pitches, or actual guilt/innocence from lawyers’ arguments, or binding commitments from the mere words “I promise,” and so on and so forth).

      Everyone who will read this comment is not being told anything they don’t already know, past the point of caring. But when Jim Geraghty over at NRO says stop being assholes he’s missing the point. These guys are being paid to be assholes. It’s what the market wants.Report

      • Avatar Michelle in reply to BlaiseP says:

        I think this gets to the heart of it. For a large portion of the conservative demographic outrage sells. Reasoned discussion of the issues–not so much. So yeah, Chambers turn back to idiocy was inevitable. Whatever audience he’s going to get demands it.

        All the conservative teeth-gnashing about skewed polls and voter fraud was a set up to claim Obama somehow stole the election and delegitimize his second term. Wonder how long before the remaining Tea Partiers in the House find grounds to impeach him?Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to Michelle says:

          outrage sells on the Democratic side as well. Just it’s not as mass marketed, and tends to come in waves, not a constant stream.Report

          • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Kim says:

            The Democrats don’t know how to sell outrage. Look at the tragicomic failure of Air America. Look at Murdoch’s pythons devouring the newspaper markets. We Democrats are noisy bastards, we own the two-way conversation of bloggery but it’s hard going making a shekel doing it.

            We’re pathetic stewards of our own messages, we Democrats. We can’t write a précis to save our lives. Summarising anything seems beyond us. The Conservatives hate PBS and NPR and all those guys because our messages are more complex. Many of our causes are bound up in horrible people: though the Taliban and Hamas and al Shabaab are horrible people, we aren’t going to bomb our way to victory on the battlefield of ideas. Lots of Progressive Democrats agree with that sentiment, but our enemies are always able to twist it all around to Sympathizin’ with Turrists.

            Now here’s a clearer message, one they can’t dispute: America Must Win the Idea War. See, nice slogan, cuts out all that disputable nonsense.Report

            • Avatar Kim in reply to BlaiseP says:

              You ever read grannydoc on DailyKos? That was one lady who could go on a hell of a fine rant.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Kim says:

                I’m sick of DailyKos. Used to write there a lot. Went up the rec list a few times.

                DailyKos is an echo chamber, often a maudlin and grotesque pity party. Every time I’d try to point out where the Democrats were even remotely wrong, oh the flames and outrage.

                I’ll never, ever go back there again.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Sometimes it’s a useful gauge of how the liberals are feeling.

                Sometimes the actual writers do a symposium (SundayKos), and write something that isn’t pure partisan politics.

                And, sometimes, like with the BP thing, it’s a great place to learn a little bit from subject matter experts (fishgrease in that case).

                Brin manages to hang out on there, and he’s registered Republican. I think it’s because his ideas are just that off the wall.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Kim says:

                I keep calling myself a Liberal and maybe I ought to stop. For the last few years, I’ve become increasingly disgusted with what passes for Liberal thought. It’s not Liberal any more, to my way of thinking. Liberals are supposed to represent Liberty and not just Equality.

                Case in point: during the Clinton years, there was a mass upward migration of working class poor into what could be called the Middle Class, though I was never quite sure what that meant. Much of that upward migration was a result of things done by Bush the Wiser, f’rinstance, the Internet Boom was the result of legislation proposed by Al Gore and signed by Bush41. That’s a classic example of the private sector benefiting from government.

                If we played our cards right as Liberals, we could snatch much of what the GOP is yelling about straight out of their hands. Lessee here, rising medical costs, find some efficiencies, root out corruption and malfeasance, etc. Get everyone insured, get some actuaries on this, build a case for how to do so, explain it clearly to people. We should have been about more bang for the buck and less of these anecdotal sob stories which appear with such tiresome frequency on DKos. There a rising tide of elderly people needing assistance, okay, what’s the most cost-effective way to deal with this issue?

                Liberals just don’t seem serious about deficits, some of which are justified but many aren’t. With Liberals, it doesn’t matter what’s the problem: from measles to mange to menstrual cramps, it’s the same goddamn solution: Moah Gummint. Sometimes the government can provide the most efficient solution but not always and not even very often. And we never seem to make that point very well.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to BlaiseP says:

                the democrats have served their purpose. I’m hoping for a third party this time around (or republicans who have kicked the xenophobes and theocrats to the curb)…Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to BlaiseP says:

                You read bonddad’s blog? Its always got some good data.Report

        • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Michelle says:

          In a sense, they can’t impeach him. He’s their reason for existence. Without Obama and the Mainstream Media, who would they blame? It’s like Voltaire said of God: if God didn’t exist, we would have to invent him, to which I would add — so we could have someone to blame for the way things worked out.Report

        • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Michelle says:

          Outrage does sell but I think many of the outragers have drunk their own kool-aid.

          There is no way to prove this totally but I imagine that most of these right-wing people believe their own stuff and are not P.T. Barnums. And if they are P.T. Barnums, they are the most cynical ones in the history of mankind.Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to NewDealer says:

            Limbaugh’s a Barnum. Dunno about the rest.Report

          • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to NewDealer says:

            P.T. Barnum wasn’t a cynical man. Nor is Rupert Murdoch. It’s all about the numbers: if that’s cynicism by your definition I’ll stipulate to it.

            But most of what passes for Informed Dialogue these days is nothing but putting lapel microphones and a camera on two gasbags and turning them loose on each other. It’s all kayfabe, not one whit different from the WWE Chumpionship Wrestling circuit, highly trained physical clowns getting the rubes all excited. Big money in that game. It’s fair. It’s balanced. Someone’s going to win, the whole thing’s been worked out beforehand. And everyone in the audience knows it too.

            …a poor player
            That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
            And then is heard no more: it is a tale
            Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
            Signifying nothing.

            Enter a Messenger
            Thou comest to use thy tongue; thy story quickly.

      • Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name in reply to BlaiseP says:

        “Even Billy Graham took LDS off his list of cults.”

        Quick note: Billy Graham almost certainly did no such thing. He hasn’t mmade any announcements or decisions in quite some time. It’s his asshole who’s been speaking in his name who is to blame.Report

  4. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Here is a piece Chambers wrote apologizing for his personal insulting of Nate Silver. The writing it contains would be about a C- for a college freshman. Here’s a representative sample:

    I mention those comments simply to provide context and note what would even tempt me to make the inappropriate comments about Nate Silver that I wrote and here apologize for them. Just because that was written about me was no excuse and no reason for me to write what I wrote. Regardless of that, my comments were wrong and I apologize here for them.

    He begins his apology by quoting all of the insults, complete with links to videos that he thinks display Silver’s personal attractiveness. He then apologizes to Silver (good) and “anyone else who might have been offended” (yuck). Then, to explain (but not excuse) the personal attack, he quotes a third party who criticized Chambers’s methodology while calling him “portly”. The whole thing is just pathetic.Report

  5. Avatar James Hanley says:

    It’s a pathetic attempt to remain relevant.Report

  6. Avatar Kim says:

    I think Operation Orca (or whatever they were calling it) had more to do with everyone’s confidence…

  7. Avatar NewDealer says:

    Most other people on the net seem to be making jokes about this and perhaps that is best. Satire and humor can be the best weapons sometime.

    However, I do think it reflects a larger reality that many people on the Right feel that the Democratic Party can not win a legitimate election. Their mantra and bran wave pattern is “I win or You Cheated” as TNC states.

    Though the collective meltdown does provide a bit of schandenfreude.Report

  8. Avatar joey jo jo says:

    Once Deano got a taste of that sweet sweet money and attention from the righty fringe, he’s hooked for life. Luckily for him, he knows where the marks are.Report

  9. Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name says:

    Interesting that his black states are the ones where voter suppression failed. Giving everyone the right to vote == voter fraud, I guess.Report

  10. Avatar DRS says:

    Why Pennsylvania? The other three I understand but where did PA come from? Surely there were other states that would have made more likely #4’s.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to DRS says:

      Because the stupid voter id thing got canceled. The one the stupid politician claimed woudl deliver the state to Romney.
      and 5% is too close for comfort… (yay! free money!)Report

  11. Avatar Will Truman says:

    Barack O’Fraudo appears to be down. (Insert joke here about censorship.) (Actually, I wonder what’s up.) (In case you’re curious, I discovered this for a linky post to contrast with this conspiracy site, which is just beautiful.)Report