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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106 Responses

  1. greginak says:

    I’m fine with carbon based life forms, but i will not use carbon based money.Report

    • Tod Kelly in reply to greginak says:

      Carbon green is… people!Report

    • DavidTC in reply to greginak says:

      Talk about weird lines. I expected Gohmert to pull out the money from his wallet and set it on fire.

      Maybe he’s not aware it’s carbon based. But while a lot of people are unaware that money is cotton, not paper, most people should realize that both those are carbon-based, as, duh, they come from living things.

      Gohmert, however, actually is one of the few congressmen without an IQ. Yes, he has no IQ at all.Report

    • Snarky McSnarkSnark in reply to greginak says:

      Louie Gohmert is simply engaged in a sustained–and deeply committed–piece of performance art.

      As a reminder (it’s worth the click): Terror Babies!Report

  2. Troublesome Frog says:

    And I ask again: Have the Republicans spent so much time creating a convincing fantasy land for their supporters that it has become self-perpetuating, and now they pick their actual representatives from among their dupes? Is it possible to get to a point where the sophisticated political operators who know that it’s all nonsense and normally run the show are all replaced by gullible true believers who came up steeped in bullshit and aren’t equipped to deal with anything but the fantasy?

    Or can we breathe (very slightly) easier because it’s all an act and they’ve still got things at least partially under control?Report

    • That’s really the question, isn’t it?Report

    • Saul DeGraw in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

      I think the answer to your questions is yes.Report

    • greginak in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

      Its easy for people to be so cynical about pols to think they are all lying or manipulating or disingenuous. However i so no reason to not believe many pols are True Believers. Gohmert is a TB down to the marrow. If you are cleverly manipulating you usually try to make your BS actually sound good not so nutbag crazy that even people on your own side will be rolling their eyes so hard it looks like they are having a seizure. If you aren’t a TB you still want to look the serious people in your party in the eye and be respected. Gohmert doesn’t get how far out he sounds. Comcast is a almost universally hated corp yet he manages to find a way to criticize them that makes them look like the smart and sensible and reasonable side. How nutz to do have to be to make Comcast look like the good guys???Report

      • Troublesome Frog in reply to greginak says:

        Well, I think we’ve seen the consequences of requiring that your politicians say crazy things to please the fantasy-land base. When you have a Presidential primary, the only people on the stage are crazy people or cynical manipulators pretending to be crazy people. The only interesting part of the game is figuring out which one is which.Report

    • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

      I think you could breathe easily until about 2010. The waves of ’06 and ’08 wiped out too many bullshitters, then the wave of ’10 swept in a whole lot of true believers.

      I’ll put it this way. Newt only believed about 50% of what he was saying. Many of the guys in Congress now believe pretty much everything they’re saying.Report

      • Troublesome Frog in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

        It’s kind of like watching the founding of a religion. Once the founders are dead and gone, it’s pretty hard to undo the articles of faith. They’re part of the fabric of it.Report

  3. Patrick says:

    This is all ceasing to be funny. It’s starting to scare me just a little bit.

    It hasn’t been funny for about 18 years now. It’s been getting progressively scarier as all of the systemic movements of the last two decades have come around to aligning in a very freakin’ weird way.

    On the upside, 90% of the population doesn’t care a whit about it, and won’t get sucked up in it.

    But yeah, I haven’t been able to think anything but that we’re long, long overdue for another major showdown between crackpottery and people with badges and guns.Report

    • Saul DeGraw in reply to Patrick says:

      I think that is a curse and blessing with the 90 percent because it allows the crazies to ruleReport

    • LeeEsq in reply to Patrick says:

      The fact that Republicans are posed to win big in 2014 mid-term elections make the next two years look fun. (Sarcasm). I really wish members of my party would vote more in non-Presidential elections.Report

      • Patrick in reply to LeeEsq says:

        They won’t get a veto-proof majority in the senate, and they already have the house.

        Really, the worst thing that could happen would be that Scalia has a heart attack, and they just keep rejecting every nominee put forth by Obama for SCOTUS.

        Which would probably not help them any in 2016.Report

      • greginak in reply to LeeEsq says:

        @patrick I give a 75% chance the R’s try to impeach Obama after Nov. They have the House and while they won’t have 67 votes in the Senate they will go for it. So how bad would that be?Report

      • Gabriel Conroy in reply to LeeEsq says:


        If there is an impeachment trial, do filibuster rules apply? Maybe they need only 51 votes to convict.Report

      • Michael Cain in reply to LeeEsq says:

        The Constitution says two-thirds of members present, with the Chief Justice presiding. I don’t see Roberts as willing to go down in history as the Chief Justice that allowed some sketchy procedure to keep all the Dems away from the vote, so absent a real “high crimes” smoking gun, the outcome is already known.Report

      • Gabriel Conroy in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Yikes! I simply forgot that it wasn’t a filibuster thing.Report

  4. James Hanley says:

    Louis Gohmert is assuredly the dumbest member of Congress.Report

  5. Kolohe says:

    I realize as I’m writing this that I’m going off of gut and not proof, but it’s hard for me not to connect this to the incidences in Nevada and Utah where citizens are arming themselves against federal authorities and declaring that war is coming.

    One mitigating factor is that anti-Islam bias has never, to my knowledge, manifested itself with direct anti-government (violent or otherwise) action (in the US*). It *has* manifested itself with violence and other direct action against Muslims* (and people like Sikhs, who are, of course, not Muslim) and their property. Which, naturally, is not at all any better, but this part of Rep Gohmert’s schtick (the Pam Geller-Frank Gaffney-Andrew McCarthy part) doesn’t really press the ‘militia’ type’s action buttons.

    (this divide is also demonstrated in the “Grover Norquist vs the World” GOP intercine conflict)

    *India, otoh

    **and probably Rep Keith Ellison personallyReport

  6. dragonfrog says:

    I’m sure when the crazy-eyed long-bearded men of the US-sharia conspiracy cabal were looking for useful co-conspirators, they went “Guy name of Cohen, Cohen – yeah, I bet he’d be onside. Let’s give him a call.”Report

  7. Saul DeGraw says:

    Yeah this guy is not the sharpest tool in the shed.

    Though I think the answer to troublesomefrog’s questions is largely yes. This is the natural conclusion of 40 plus years of various conspiracy theories and anti-government tirades that started in the post-WWII era. The work of Rick Perlstein is invaluable to show how the conspiracies change but the tune essentially remains the same. You can also add the strange success of the people who turned Agenda 21 into a winning issue for the far-right.Report

  8. Michael Cain says:

    …the incidences in Nevada and Utah where citizens are arming themselves against federal authorities and declaring that war is coming.

    At least to my memory, the incidences are all — or almost all — in exurb-to-rural areas. Even if the feds abandoned the state today, that is not going to get Bundy and Company what they want. The intra-state secession movements that have gotten plenty of press over the last year — North Colorado, Jefferson, whatever the people in western Maryland want to call themselves — are exurb-to-rural areas wanting to be cut loose from the cities and suburbs. 90% of the population of Nevada is in the Las Vegas and Reno metro areas (by population, Nevada is one of the least-rural states in the country). Those folks are going to run the state to please themselves, and Bundy is likely to get a worse deal from them than he gets from the feds.Report

  9. Brandon Berg says:

    Democrats have it so much easier. They can get their share of the stupid vote just by promising to give them freebies. Republicans have to get creative.Report

    • Chris in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      Who do the Democrats promise freebies to?Report

      • Murali in reply to Chris says:

        Union members?Report

      • Murali in reply to Chris says:

        poor people in general?Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Chris says:

        Racist ranchers in Nevada!

        Wait …Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Chris says:

        Can we skip to the part where you reveal where you’re going with this? I assume you’re not actually disputing that subsidies and other transfer programs are not a big part of the Democratic platform.Report

      • Tod Kelly in reply to Chris says:

        People vote democrat because the want free stuff = people vote republican because they are racist = people vote libertarian because FYIGM.Report

      • Chris in reply to Chris says:

        Tod, right. There is an irony in talking about “stupid votes” by repeating stupid talking points. That, Brandon, is where I was going with that.Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Chris says:

        It’s a valid observation, not a stupid talking point. Politicians pander because that’s what they have to do to get people to vote for them. This is how Republicans pander. Democrats aren’t above it—they just pander in a different way, by promising to take money from a small minority of the population and redistribute it.Report

      • greginak in reply to Chris says:

        But then the equation is Doing something people want = pandering. So everybody is pandering in every policy proposal. Libertarians, among others, think drugs should be legal. They could light up legally; they are getting something they want. They want less regs so the economy would zoom and they wouldn’t be restrained; they would be freer and profit. If one party doing something that people like is pandering then it is pandering when everybody does it. If you think its not pandering when my side offers people stuff they want, then you have missed the point.Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Chris says:

        “Pandering” doesn’t mean giving people what they want. It means appealing to people’s irrationality, ignorance, or baser instincts.Report

      • Kim in reply to Chris says:

        Anything that someone does That I Don’t Agree With is Pandering!
        Do you really think that increasing the number of slaves in America is Obama pandering to someone?Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Chris says:

        Are we still using that definition of “slaves” even after that whole mass kidnapping thing in Africa?Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Chris says:

        “Are we still using that definition of “slaves” even after that whole mass kidnapping thing in Africa?”

        You mean the transatlantic slave trade?Report

      • Kim in reply to Chris says:

        I’m speaking of a slightly expanded version that calls slaves: people whose employers consider “accidentally” killing them as part of business to be a vital business expense that cuts down on unionization. (These are generally illegal immigrants)Report

    • Saul DeGraw in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      This is the failure of libertarian outreach 101.

      Why is it so inconceivable to you that people might sincerely believe in the welfare state and safety net as moral goods and not as freebies/bread and circuses?Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

        Probably for the same reasons why many liberals can’t comprehend that many libertarians might be sincere in their desire for limited government.Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

        It isn’t. I said it’s how Democrats get their share of the stupid vote, not how they get all their votes.Report

      • James Hanley in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

        This is the failure of libertarian outreach 101

        Well, it’s true that liberal outreach 101 is a lot easier.

        “Hey, you, want something free, paid for by a bunch of rich bastards?”

        “Uhm, sure, why not?”


      • Brandon Berg in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

        Although somebody who isn’t a vocal defender of his right to have the government force his landlord to cut him a break on the rent would probably be a better spokesman for that particular proposition.Report

      • tgm in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

        libertarianism is nothing more than a Plutocrat propaganda ploy. the libertarian movement is lead by people like Murray Rothbard, Milton Friedman, Ludwig von Mises, Robert Nozick, Alisa Rosenbaum, Victor Niederhoffer and Murray Bookchin. the movement is based on the idea that the Moneyed Interests acquired their money fairly and thus deserve to be rich. because the media is dominated by Plutocrats libertarianism has manged to gain a lot of popularity among the working class. working people who support libertarianism are fools.Report

      • Kim in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

        Friedman’s on record as supporting multiple currencies, ain’t he? I don’t think that’s terribly helping current moneyed interests. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s making a lot of folks get rich through the current spate of cryptocurrencies.
        /ducks the libertarian dogpile.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      Libertarians have it harder. They have to decide whether to be content with the 1% of the vote they get by yelling “statist!” or trying for more by yelling “n****r!”.Report

      • J@m3z Aitch in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Well, that went downhill fast.Report

      • Dave in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        More like right off a cliff.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Would you guys feel better if I offered you some free stuff?Report

      • J@m3z Aitch in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        I wonder if Mike Schilling knows that some guy who’s not funny stole his login info.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        The point that the game of applying unfair smears to the other side is a crappy game isn’t made very well by just trying to apply an equally unfair smear to the one just applied. To do that would be just to play the game and thereby endorse it. Mike went over the top to illustrate that the game Brandon is playing is a crappy game, not to play the game by its rues and apply a fair, calibrated unfair smear to libertarianism.Report

      • James Hanley in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        You’ve confused over the line and over the top.Report

      • North in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Also isn’t BB a conservative, not a libertarian?Report

      • Far more libertarian than conservative, though more sympathetic to the right than the left when it comes down to it.Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        What makes you think I’m a conservative?Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        You didn’t say that the problem was simply crossing a particular line rather than the nature of the approach. You wouldn’t have thought it had gone downhill if he had taken the same basic tack but chosen a slightly less singularly extreme example? Keep in mind, to make the point it needs to be extreme.

        But if the issue is just what word he chose, fair enough.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Yeah, it was impolite to bring up Murray Rothbard and the Pauls. Let’s go back to pretending they don’t exist.Report

      • James Hanley in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Ok, let’s play your guilt-by-association game @mike-schilling.

        Liberals have to decide if they can get enough votes by promising welfare or if they need to go for more by yelling about kikes.

        Because we don’t want to pretend it wasn’t the liberal Jesse Jackson who famously called New York Hymietown, or the liberal Ralph Nader who ranted about the Israeli Puppeter controlling the White House, or liberal journalist Helen Thomas complaining that everyone in power was owned by the zionists.

        Now @michael-drew has to come to my defense.Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Of course they exist. So do people who votes for Democrats because they want free stuff.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Don’t call it my game; I didn’t start it. And it’s not guilt by association: “either A or B” doesn’t imply that everyone chooses B.

        You chose poor examples, though, since we’re talking about publicly visible strategies, not slips or comments intended to remain private. Thus “liberals can’t decide whether to champion women’s rights or tweet pictures of their junk” wouldn’t apply either. How about “liberals can’t decide whether to be horrified by homophobia or ridicule non-stereotypically-masculine Republicans”?Report

      • James Hanley in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Poor Mike, you can’t decide whether to say its all bad argument or to double down on your part in it.

        But you actually did start the guilt by association game. Liberals do in fact believe in wealth transfers–it’s a pretty fundamental part of modern liberalism–so Brandon’s snark, while not one I’ll stand by unless it was all tongie-in-cheek, at least doesn’t take the worst thing about some liberals and imply it’s representative of liberalism in general. You, on the other hand, bring in the worst thing of a cherry-picked couple of libertarians and imply it’s representative of libertarianism. Even in your follow-up comment you treat “yelling ‘n****r!'” as one of libertarianism’s “publicly visible strategies.”Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        It wasn’t snark. My point was that there’s a Democratic equivalent of the Republican pandering described in this post, and that it’s “We will take money from those rich bastards and give it to you.”Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Don’t take my word for it. See what Dave Weigel and Julian Sanchez have to say:

        [Lew] Rockwell and the prominent libertarian theorist Murray Rothbard championed an open strategy of exploiting racial and class resentment to build a coalition with populist “paleoconservatives,” producing a flurry of articles and manifestos whose racially charged talking points and vocabulary mirrored the controversial Paul newsletters recently unearthed by The New Republic.

        (Emphasis mine.)Report

      • tgm in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        people like Rothbard are scum who deserve to be hated.Report

      • tgm in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        everyone should read that piece it provides a rare glimpse into how the Capitalist Class manipulates working class Americans. people shouldn’t focus on race it is nothing more than a distraction all eyes should be on the Banking Interests who control the government.Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        This is an excellent illustration of the point I’ve made a couple times in the past about how closely far-left economic rhetoric parallels classic antisemitic rhetoric.Report

      • James Hanley in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Right, schilling, and you’re still playing guilt-by-association, pretending that’s what libertarianism is about because the guys you cherry-picked said it.

        Your basic problem here is that you don’t actually know much about libertarianism. You read some critics who are cherry-picking this stuff and you think that puts you in the know. But you don’t read actual libertarians to see what’s really going on. So you remain in a state of deep ignorance while feeling self-congratulatory about your level of knowledge.

        Unfortunately, your beliefs don’t fit the facts. If libertarians are about openly exploiting race, why does the Libertarian Party platform say,

        Government should neither deny nor abridge any individual’s human right based upon sex, wealth, ethnicity, creed, age, national origin, personal habits, political preference or sexual orientation

        Maybe they’re surreptitiously openly racist?

        If libertarians are openly following a racist strategy, then why did Cato publish a repory critiquing the drug war for “destroying black America”? Maybe showing concern for how a racial minority is negatively affected by public policy will rally the racists to their side?

        Maybe it’s time for you to stop pretending that a handful of guys you’ve cherrypicked for their views are sufficient to define libertarianism today. It’s curious, isn’t it, that you have to keep retreating to references to a guy who died nearly 20 years ago? In fact it’s curious you keep referencing guys whose views were explicitly paleolibertarian, but fail to cast your net any broader than that.

        What about all those libertarians who aren’t paleos, Schilling? What about the libertarians who criticized Paul’s racist newsletter? Is their denunciation of the exploitation of racial resentments actually a clever technique of openly exploiting racial resentments?

        Because you are actually deeply ignorant about libertarianism, you mistakenly believe that Rothbard, Rockwell and Paul are the intellectual leaders of libertarianism, that they are particularly relevant to what libertarians today believe. Apparently you’re unfamiliar with any living libertarians under 70. Either that, or you know you’re cherry-picking, and you think it’s a legitimate argumentative technique.

        There’s a particular patheticness about outsiders who claim to really know what the insiders are like. To use your approach, maybe Fox News is the best way to learn what liberals are like. Maybe fundamentalist Christians afe the best source for understanding the gay agenda. Maybe we ought to let a cis guy like me explain what trans people are thinking. Maybe we ought to invite that anti-semite Lee esq. warned us about to stick around and give us the real low down on the Jews?

        No, those are pretty stupid suggestions, aren’t they? But you talking about libertarians falls into the same camp. If you don’t like the things I just suggested, you should take a hard look in the mirror. And if you remain convinced you really do understand libertarianism, you should recognize that you’re no more intellectually honest than a guy like Sean Hannity.Report

      • North in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        BB it may be just the effect of the curve; the League’s thin population of true believer conservatives have by and large vanished. I always was under the impression that you were a conservative.

        Your original comment about freebies, for instance, is arch Republi-speak whereas I’d expect a red meat libertarian to observe that the GOP lards out freebies to their constituencies (defense industries, rural areas, rural states, the elderly, the wealthy, large corporations ) just as blatantly and shamelessly as the Democratic party doles out freebies to theirs (the poor, minorities, urban areas, students, large corporations, environmentalists).

        That said if you are libertarian I certainly apologize for thinking you were a conservative.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        “Fair enough” doesn’t imply I’m defending your view.Report

      • James Hanley in reply to Mike Schilling says:


        Missed the point again.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Actually, you’ve come to mine, if you’re now saying that I have a good point that itusing extreme examples like Mike did is a good way to illustrate the point that games like Brandon’s suck whether they’re played a bit more or a bit less fairly. Whatever fairness they start out with quickly goes out the window.

        And Mike can think that the example he used isn’t even that over the line given Lew Rockwell et al. (which I had forgotten all about) and still be making that point.

        And even if Mike was seeking to play Brandon’s game not illustrate that it sucks, I still think that’s what this episode illustrates.Report

      • James Hanley in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Yes, if you defend his n****r argument you have to defend my kike argument.

        The problem is, both arguments are complete shit.

        You can argue that Schilling wasn’t serious about his argument, but I think his subsequent doubling down on it makes that a tough case.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Hence my point about what I think this illustrates regardless of his intentions. If it was actually an argument meant in the earnest way that Brandon meant his, then it’s shit. I didn’t defend it in those terms.

        I did defend it in terms of an illustration of how this game sucks from jump whether you try to play a little more fairly or not. It never stays fair. And I think it’s entirely possible for Mike to think it’s not over the line in the way you think it is to have used the “n****r” argument for that purpose because of Lew Rockwell et al. I don’t think what he’s said needs to be read as a doubling down on the argument as an earnest one like Brandon’s, but as an assertion that it’s somewhat more in line with the crappiness of the approach Brandon took that you or in any case he is allowing, and thus a better illustration of the overall crappiness of Brandon’s game. (Again, illustrating that in that way requires a certain degree of exaggeration to illustrate the problem, but not so much that it becomes an absurd comparison. So what you see as doubling down I think can be seen as arguing for the non-absurdness of the example he chose to demonstrate the shitiness of Brandon’s game).

        OTOH, yeah, it’s possible he’s just trying to play Brandon’s game, endorsing its terms, and being really unfair about how he plays it.Report

      • Kim in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Mike Schilling,
        Man that’s dirty. Made all the moreso by the fact that it’s true.
        [Note: libertarians would have a better case if they didn’t have more than two pols they’re willing to call libertarian.]Report

    • Barry in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      “Democrats have it so much easier. They can get their share of the stupid vote just by promising to give them freebies. Republicans have to get creative.”

      Said after a discussion mentioning Bundy, the man who got decades of 90% subsidized grazing, and doesn’t want to pay even that.Report

    • tgm in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      neither political party does anything for working people, they are both controlled by Plutocrats. while both political parties will pretend to be on the side of working people at the end of the day they will side with the Banking Interests. any elected official who opposes the Plutocrats will be taken out like George Moscone or Salvador Allende.Report

  10. LeeEsq says:

    I thought we got rid of HUAC? Are the Republicans planning to bring it back as part of their overall worship of the mythical 1950s?Report

  11. Stillwater says:

    but it’s hard for me not to connect this to the incidences in Nevada and Utah where citizens are arming themselves against federal authorities and declaring that war is coming.

    A few weeks ago we all talked about the militarization of the police. We also talk alot about violent gun related rhetoric from the right. Just sayin.Report

  12. Road Scholar says:

    Ugh. This is so dumb it’s not even wrong. It’s just incoherent babble. (To be clear, Goehmert, not Tod.)Report

  13. Shazbot3 says:

    Conservatives vote for this guy. He is a leader of conservativism in America and the Republican party, not an outsider considered to be a kook.

    Anyone who votes for this guy is messed up.Report

  14. Saul DeGraw says:

    The big story I saw this week is how the establishment Republicans beat the Tea Party in primaries especially in North Carolina.

    The smarter commentary I’ve seen is how the Tea Party has won because the establishment Republicans beat the Tea Party by co-opting and going farther to the right.

    I think this is part of sailing away towards irrelevancy. The GOP is deciding to take advantage of the millions of voters who do vote more frequently but are rapidly aging. They are choosing present power over long-term stability.Report

  15. zic says:

    So I’m really happy that @tod-kelly wrote a post that gave ya’ll an excuse to cudgel each other on the internet over ideology.

    But I keep thinking about this through the lens of the 1st. I learned, from the Sterling fiasco, that it’s not a 1st violation unless there’s statutory law saying that Sterling might have violated V.’s rights under the 1st.; particularly the right of free association.

    But here’s a different twist — and it’s got Sharia Law in question, so freedom of Religion (and that bit about the Hobby Lobby case that bugged me, the potential imposition of other’s religious beliefs on law), it’s got freedom of the press; not to mention some free market issues. Not to mention potential issues of net neutrality and a growing monopoly by Comcast on broadband service and the conflict of interest between being both a content provider and distributor with a stake in seeing its content having preference in the market.

    Seems like there’s some other stuff to talk about.Report

    • James Hanley in reply to zic says:

      Nobody’s stopping you from talking about other stuff, zic, but I have a feeling if some guy came along here and was telling women what they really believe, there just might be a subthread that challenged him on it.Report

      • zic in reply to James Hanley says:

        Well, it has been a fine example of distraction politics.Report

      • Patrick in reply to James Hanley says:

        if some guy came along here and was telling women what they really believe

        I’ll note: that’s not precisely how this digression started.

        It started with a super-duper-helpful observation from Brandon that had nothing to do with the OP, really, except to irritate Mike so that we could engage in distraction politics.

        I’ll note too that the observation wasn’t even really accurate, which made it even less helpful. The establishment GOP is just as much about “freebies” as the establishment Dems are.

        Should we talk about how Congress just overhauled the Defense budget to put in a bunch of freebies, and how that was bipartisan?

        Or the “get your government hands off my Medicare” trope from the last election?

        Or tax cuts which always seem to be focused on targeted GOP-friendly voting blocks?

        Note how “the stuff the other party gives away to constituencies” is called “freebies” and “the stuff we give away to constituencies” is always called “what you deserve”.

        You know, it actually is possible that neither side actually believes they’re giving away freebies, but that they’re protecting their constituencies’ best interests.Report

      • I agree that the first comment was bad and a distraction. The response, however, was worse, in my opinion. Among the libertarian commenters and authors at this site, there might be some outliers, but right now, I can think of absolutely zero who use the n-word or who race bait like that comment implied. Certainly I have never known James, Jason, or Mark to do so. I can understand why they’d be offended at the suggestion.

        That doesn’t change your assessment of how the sub-thread got started. But it helps explain why and how it got bad so quickly.Report

  16. Damon says:

    This is all perfectly natural. It happens when Empires begin to fall apart. It’ll get worse before it gets better.Report