Serious / Macho

Joe Klein today (emphasis mine):I'm afraid I'm going to get cranky about this: The Democrats who oppose the so-called "surge" are right. But they have to be careful not to sound like ill-informed dilettantes when talking about it.
The latest to make a fool of himself is Paul Krugman of the New York Times, who argues that those who favor the increase in troops are either cynical or delusional. Mostly the latter. Delusional neocons like Bill Kristol and Fred Kagan, to be precise. But what about retired General Jack Keane--whom Krugman doesn't mention--and the significant number of military intellectuals who have favored a labor-intensive counterinsurgency strategy in Baghdad for the past three years? They are serious people.Washington Post Editorial yesterday (emphasis mine):Without a surge, Mr. McCain and Mr. Lieberman warn, the war will be lost. This is a serious argument, and the two senators have been principled and even courageous in making it. As someone who opposed the war from long before it began, and thus was long branded as "not serious" as a result, it is remarkable to me how those who now support escalation are immediately branded as "serious" by those who do not support escalation but who did support the war in the first place. In fact, the entire Washington Post editorial yesterday seemed simply to be a defense of the people who support escalation as "serious" and otherwise good people, even if the Washington Post itself can't bring itself to personally step onto the ashbin of history. This isn't surprising really, since another serious commentator, Richard Cohen, has recently stated that the main reason he opposed supported the war was because he didn't want to throw his lot with the unserious, dirty hippies who opposed it.

There may be disagreements within the DLC-nexus of pundits from time to time, but as we can see form the DLC-nexus pundits are dealing with the current schism over escalation, maintaining the power and image of the punditry nexus itself is more important than any short term schism. For Joe Klein and Fred Hyatt, the most important point is that the people who wrongly support escalation are still serious and worthy of our attention. They are not, heaven forbid, any of those unserious, dirty fucking hippies who are not worthy of serious attention. To co-opt their favorite word for a moment, this causes rather "serious" problems, as Digby noted in a piece about Jonathan Chait:
This kind of thinking has permeated the establishment from day one. Plenty of people said in advance that the war was a mistake for exactly the reasons that Chait is now so surprised by. Nobody listened to them then and nobody is listening to them now. In fact, they were and are derided and marginalized. Today allegedly liberal pundits are rather seriously discussing the merits of installing friendly dictators now that their fantasies failed to become reality. How ridiculous.

Update II: One thing that should be noted is that Chait, like many of his DC brethren, has what seems to be temperamental aversion to the dirty hippies of the left. During the Bush years he has gone slightly cuckoo over Deaniacs, anti-war protesters, Lieberman ousters and grassroots troublemakers in general. I don't know the guy, but from reading his stuff it appears to be the result of a reflexive emotional reaction.

This is one of the fault lines that exists in liberalism today --- the knee jerk assumptions by the elites about the grassroots populists and vice versa. The problem for the party, however, is that opinion makers like Chait are taken seriously by policymakers while the grassroots troublemakers are not and the result is that their visceral dislike of our ilk comes into play in important ways.
I once argued that the establishment media sought to marginalize the blogosphere and, indeed, the entire progressive movement, by portraying us as unstable teenagers to their stern, wise and learned adults. I image much the same thing happened to "hippies" in the 1960's/ The thing is, it isn't just the netroots and "hippies" who suffer this discursive marginalization based not upon what we say, but instead upon our lack of perceived cultural characteristics. Indeed, the cultural concepts contained with the DLC-nexus punditry's conception of "seriousness" are based upon a long-standing reaction to the Democratic party being perceived as feminine instead of macho, which also recently served to marginalize the gains of women in the otherwise sweeping gains realized by the Democratic Party in 2006. In discussing Ryan Lizza's recent piece on macho Democrats, Sara Posner wrote the following: I had a creepy feeling reading Lizza's piece, in part because I hate that silly macho pissing contest, where the Democrats feel they have to work so hard not to look French or worry about their hair (unless they're a woman, in which case they should worry very much about it) and drink Bud instead of latte. But also because I know that if success in Democratic politics depends on a macho test, female politicians will always face the eternal tug between flaunting their toughness while constantly tempering it with a prominent display of estrogen. Posner's right: for a long time, probably ever since the 1972 Presidential election (and certainly since the 1984 election), in order to be taken seriously on the national stage, individual Democrats have indeed been required to pass a test of machismo. Much of this was probably connected to having to distance themselves from the feminine, hippie left. As I noted above, all of the requirements Democrats have been forced to meet during this time could easily been lifted from anti-feminist writings throughout the 20th century (and earlier). Democrats have to prove they are willing to fight, by showing they know that the use of military force can sometimes (often) be a good thing. They must prove they are patriotic, and more willing to pursue America's interests even if it means pissing off our allies. They have to prove they are serious, and can justify their arguments according to logic rather than emotions. These are simply new phrasings of the same obstacles women have faced to equality. Male chauvinists have long argued that women are not tough enough, not mentality capable enough, and too willing to compromise or based decisions on their emotions and / or the feelings of others in order to perform on an equal level to men at the highest levels of our society.,

In a very real sense, in order to national favor, self-identified Democrats have been required to go through the same trials and roadblocks women have faced in their struggle for equality over the past century and more. Demonstrating seriousness has become nearly identical as demonstrating true masculinity--machismo, really. In both cases, failure to make said demonstration will deny you entrance into a dominant power structure. In the minds of the DLC-nexus of pundits, the blogosphere, the netroots and the progressive movement failed that test from day one of their appearance on the national scene, when our "personal" blogs (read here: dairies) helped propel anti-war Howard Dean into the national spotlight using our "small" donations and "volunteer" (read here: homemade) activism. We don't pass the macho / serious smell test that the DLC-nexus of pundits not only had to pass themselves, but which they honestly believe is necessary to Democratic electoral success. And so, as we are witnessing in the current schism over escalation in the DLC-nexus of punditry, members of the group are still vociferously labeled as "serious" by other members of the group even when they are clearly and utterly wrong about escalation. Glenn Greenwald wonders:Any argument for more war is, in the eyes of the Washington Establishment, always, by definition "serious." We invaded a country, unleashed the greatest strategic disaster in our history, wrought complete chaos and anarchy in that country, have squandered hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands upon thousands of lives, and now some want to send still more troops and escalate what we have been doing? That's a very "serious argument." Of course it is. Arguing in favor of death and extended violence has always been one of the most serious things macho guys can do--especially when you don't care about the consequences beforehand. In fact, that is actually what makes them more serious and macho: the willingness to use force to solve a potential threat without regard to the potentially negative consequences. Only the pansies would like to see violence end, avoid it in the first place, or warn about the many negative consequences of violent actions. Further, especially now during this moment of weakness and errancy following the 2006 elections, the cult of seriousness / machismo must be defended lest the entire cult be exposed. Again form Sara Posner's above linked article: After all, the jig is up on the Republicans' phony testosterone show. From the transparently repressed White House confidant Ted Haggard to the irrepressibly horny Mark Foley, the Republicans have been exposed as the craven coddlers of their nelly bretheren, something that would never be tolerated -- much less even imagined -- by any genuine tough guy, who would've kicked both their asses before any meth could be purchased or IM sent. And even the GOP's capos have been fully emasculated: DeLay's blogging, for heaven's sake, Abramoff's in the pokey, Hastert's a mere shell of his former self (oh, well, maybe shell is a poor word choice for the hulking former wrestling coach), and Frist has had his testicles, and his presidential prospects, handed to him on a silver platter purchased with the proceeds from insider trading. (Is there a diagnosis for that, doctor? The Republican defeat, especially coming at the hands of progressive grandmother Pelosi, has created a major image problem for the cult of seriousness and machismo. The lies of the "serious" were exposed on Iraq, ethics and family values, and Democrats ended up winning the election based on a platform of withdrawal and hippified integrity. Things can't get much more feminine, unserious and unmacho than that.

In a political culture where being serious and being macho are construed as one and the same thing, is it any wonder that Democratic women struggled so greatly on November 7th? In both the top tier and lower tier of House races, Democratic women (the most feminine and unserious sort of person of all) suffered narrow setbacks: Darcy Burner (WA-08), Patricia Madrid (NM-01), Victoria Wulsin (OH-02), Angie Paccione (CO-04), Tammy Duckworth (IL-06), Mary Jo Kilroy (OH-15), Linda Stender (NJ-07), Lois Murphy (PA-06), Diane Farrell (CT-04) and, probably, Christine Jennings in FL-13. These ten defeats were fifteen of our closest losses, a disproportionate number made even more so by the fact that most of our candidates weren't women in the first place (and you might as well throw Francine Busby's defeat in the CA-50 special election last June onto that list as well). It probably didn't help the cause of Democratic women that the "serious" and "alpha male" men who rose to the top of the Democratic campaign infrastructure might not exactly have the best idea of what sort of message works best for women candidates, or even which kind of attributes are preferable when it comes to selecting women candidates.

As long as being "serious" is the same thing as being "macho" or "Alpha male" in our political discourse, I imagine both that Democratic women candidates will continue to experience less success than their male counterparts, and that the netroots and the progressive movement will continue to be marginalized by the dominant, establishment media pundit class. Both share the same problem: a perceived lack of the cultural characteristics that makes one worthy of attention by, and membership in, dominant political power structures. It thus should not be too surprising that about the only location where one currently can read overtly feminist political punditry is within the blogosphere itself, which has a thriving feminist component. Granted, the ice on this subject might start to break in the establishment media now that Nancy Pelosi is Speaker, but ultimately successful movements of this sort need a lot more than a charismatic leader in order to succeed over the long term. What is far more likely is that Pelosi will often be derided as "not serious" by the likes of Richard Cohen, Fred Hyatt, Joe Klein and Jonathan Chait, and it will be done with varying levels of overt misogyny and other forms of cultural chauvinism. Actually, this might end up being one circumstance where the progressive movement is actually faced with the same challenge of left-wing activists in the 1960's. Success might require not just building new institutions or altering current ones, but instead in changing the culture of seriousness and machismo itself. One thing is for sure, with these cultural norms dominating our political discourse, just tinkering and tokenizing the pundit class will not do the trick.

Tags: Culture, gender, Iraq, Media (all tags)

Comments

25 Comments

Re: Serious / Macho

I would think that serious and macho means having the guts to do the right thing even when the punditocracy is against it. The punditocracy is looking for a way to save face for having been wrong about the war and so it brands those who were right as less than serious. Bush is also looking for a way to save face and so he hopes to escalate his war that was wrong in the first place. And as for John McCain: he proves that sterling physical courage can coexist with abject political cowardice within the same person. But that is what makes him "serious," no?

by sunlight7 2007-01-08 04:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious / Macho

You have long hair like a woman.

;)

by Bob Brigham 2007-01-08 04:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious / Macho

ROTFL

by Predictor 2007-01-08 05:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious / Macho

 Hacks like Joe Klein and Richard Cohen wouldn't be such a problem if they weren't presented in the MSM as advocates for the "liberal" point of view on whatever the issue of the day happens to be. I'm sure there are a few people around -- Democrats, even -- who occupy the same "intellectual" space Klein and Cohen do. To the extent that Klein and Cohen give voice to this tiny but well-heeled group of people, they have a right to express themselves.

 The problem is that there are millions of proud liberal Americans who DON'T share the self-hating pseudo-neoliberalism of Klein and Cohen, but Klein and Cohen are still presumed to speak for them. ("Even that liberal Joe Klein thinks escalation is a great idea!") Those writers and analysts who DO give voice to those of us who were right about the war from the get-go, writers like Digby, Greenwald, Gilliard, Billmon, and many others, are nowhere to be found in the MSM. Krugman's the closest we've got to that POV being articulated.

  At least Michael Kelly had the guts to go out and enjoy firsthand the war he wanted so badly. Klein and Cohen, and others like them, remain the ultimate cowards.  

 This is a problem, and it's been a problem for awhile. "Liberals" are subjected to their own don't ask, don't tell treatment on the editorial pages of our newspapers -- they're allowed to exist if they don't make too much of a fuss. How do we correct this?

by Master Jack 2007-01-08 05:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious / Macho

We don't have to take Joe Klein seriously do we?  He's a writer, not military strategist, and he's a tainted journalist, the guy who was wrote a fictional novel about Clinton and then lied about it to pretend he was impartial reporter.

As to whether people pushing for escalation are serious, of course they are but they were also serious when they said to invade Iraq.

More importantly is they are wrong again.

Even more importantly, the most serious issue is planning for the post-Iraq world where US oil supply is controlled by religious extremists in Middle East.

If someone wants to show how "serious" they are, lets hear about their post-Iraq plan to eliminate US oil imports and save the US from consequences of the defeat Bush Jr and the Republicans lead the US to in Iraq.

by BrionLutz 2007-01-08 05:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious / Macho

They are serious people.

Sure, they are serious about enforcing a neocon agenda IRT Iraq and saving their face/reputation. They could give a crap about the loss of life and human costs of this war. The entire creation of this monstrosity and management of it gives me zero confidence in these so called "serious" people and their agendas.

by Predictor 2007-01-08 05:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious / Macho

"But what about retired General Jack Keane--whom Krugman doesn't mention--and the significant number of military intellectuals who have favored a labor-intensive counterinsurgency strategy in Baghdad for the past three years? They are serious people"

As we know you can always replace any general who disagrees with yes-men. Bush has done it since Shinislavky or whatever his wop name is, and abunch of other guys.  Are you kidding me? For any general who favor Bush's "surge" I'll give you two SERIOUS generals who oppose it.  It's Bush's way of getting out of this war without being impeached or sent to jail for war crimes.  Who cares if a couple of thousand guys who didn't go to Yale die?  

by ralphlopez 2007-01-08 05:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious / Macho

Huh? Are you referring to Eric Shinseki, who was passed for renewal when he predicted that the war would require several hundred thousand troops?

And what's with the "wop name"? Can we please leave out the ethnic slurs (assuming this wasn't a typo in which you meant something else)? And, fwiw, "wop" refers to Italians, which Shinseki is not (I believe that he's Japanese-American).

It's possible to make a good point (which you did) without resorting to juvenile language.

by kovie 2007-01-08 05:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious / Macho

Eric Shinseki, a true patriot.

Speaking of Serious/Macho/Wimpy, 41 spent years shaking the "wimp factor" but in the end, he and his son proved they are the true wimps.

by nonwhiteperson 2007-01-08 08:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious / Macho

4 quick comments:

1 - This excerpt doesn't make sense:

"Richard Cohen, has recently stated that the main reason he opposed the war was because he didn't want to throw his lot with the unserious, dirty hippies who opposed it."

Don't you mean that Cohen was FOR the war?

2 - It's Fred Hiatt, not Hyatt.

3 - You're right. Once again the pundits are devoting their attention to defending themselves and their political heroes and sponsors, rather than speaking to the substance of the issue at hand.

4 - As for the "surge" itself, while I suppose that a credible military case could be made for a short-term "surge" to stabilize certain sections of Iraq, such a "surge" would ultimately make no sense unless followed up by a much larger-scale operation, be it either a massive long-term escalation of our military presence in Iraq, or else a staged withdrawal, either of which this "surge" would presumably have set the stage for. And since there is no way that our military can do the former, and Bush has no intention of doing the latter, I think that Krugman's point was that anyone who still supports this "surge" knowing these realities is, therefore, either delusional, or cynical. I agree. I don't know which of these Kristol, Kagan, Keane, Lieberman, McCain, Graham et al are, but I'm inclined to believe that it's a lot more cynical than delusional than many people realize. These people may be crazy, but they're also quite evil, in their willingness if not eagerness to send yet more young men and women to die for their sins and help cover their asses, and I'm not willing to let them off the hook on the insanity defense alone.

by kovie 2007-01-08 05:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious / Macho
IIRC,
Cohen said that one of the reasons he initially supported the war was because the people who opposed it were so...strident! And that he was reluctant to admit his change of heart because the people who were right to begin with were so foul-mouthed and vituperative about it, to borrow a phrase from a colleague (and no doubt, hero) of Cohen's.
by BlueinColorado 2007-01-08 06:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious / Macho

God forbid that David Broder's sensibilities be disturbed lest an uncouth loudmouth say something truthful about Iraq in the hopes of saving soldiers' lives there. Clearly, there is no greater virtue in this world than preserving comity in DC. Principled or not, civility is clearly more important than human lives. And 3000 is such a nice round number.

by kovie 2007-01-08 06:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious / Macho
Chris: it would help if you'd pay attention to what you're saying. We're not asking for elegance of style. Just coherence and a little pride in your work.
by drlimerick 2007-01-08 06:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious / Macho
Uh, excuse me? Where the fuck do you get off saying I don't take pride in my work? I wrote 5,000 words today on MyDD alone--from scratch--and I make one mistake that confuses what I say, and you take it to mean I don't take pride in my work?

Jesus fucking christ. How about cutting people a little fucking slack.
by Chris Bowers 2007-01-08 07:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious / Macho

FWIW, as for myself I was merely pointing out a couple of minor errors in your post, and not making any sort of judgement regarding them or your writings. Everyone does this from time to time, and it's no reflection on the value of one's thoughts.

by kovie 2007-01-08 08:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious / Macho
   Thanks for a very smartly done piece (w. a lot of divergent threads,) Chris.
All publications have editors. That mydd's come wiki-style speaks to its dynamism, no?
by sb 2007-01-09 08:07AM | 0 recs
And right one queue, from Breaking Blue,

Congress takes a day off for.. football.

by Kalil 2007-01-08 05:31PM | 0 recs
They never will get it.

The establishment media will never get it. Eh, what a bunch of maroons.

...I once argued that the establishment media sought to marginalize the blogosphere and, indeed, the entire progressive movement, by portraying us as unstable teenagers to their stern, wise and learned adults. I image much the same thing happened to "hippies" in the 1960's/ The thing is, it isn't just the netroots and "hippies" who suffer this discursive marginalization based not upon what we say, but instead upon our lack of perceived cultural characteristics...

Their cultural characteristics consist of trolling for cocktail weenies inside the beltway whilst solemnly nodding at and regurgitating their circle's self-referential conventional wisdom pabulum.

We were right all along, and they marginalize us?

As for the age of all those dirty hippies:

Yesterday's Kansas City protest vigil

I find that I may be reintroducing myself to an old habit. Again, yesterday, I drove to the park with the J.C. Nichols fountain at the entrance to the Plaza for the weekly protest vigil in Kansas City. I previously wrote about last week's vigil - one which I participated in after a long absence.

I started out at 3:30 p.m. on my own. I have a little over an hour long drive in - I usually arrive early. From past experience I know that one person with a picket sign still draws the eyes of passersby.

There's something in the combination of the sound of the wind and the noise of the passing traffic (sans honking horns) which is rather peaceful. Still, it's cold and a brisk wind is at my back.

I notice that there's much less traffic than usual. Most of the passing people appear subdued, even those who give us signs of support. By 4:00 p.m. others have gathered. At its peak we have 15 individuals on the line, many who have been here every week for over four years. I've attended enough so that the "regulars" know my face and greet me. Several thank me for coming out.

I estimate the average age of those on the line to be somewhere around 60.

There's a certain familiar banality to this:

December 1, 2002

   My spouse and I drove down to the Plaza to participate in the weekly 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. vigil at the J.C. Nichols fountain.  We parked in the parking garage next to the huge chain book store.  My spouse went inside to use the restroom.  Since I was carrying my rolled up protest signs I thought better of going in the store, so I waited outside and watched the holiday shoppers stroll by.

   There was a young rake in blue designer fatigues and color coordinated head scarf standing about fifteen feet from me, smoking a cigarette.  Every time a well dressed young woman walked by he'd blurt out somewhat coherent observations in a rather forward stream of consciousness.  I suppressed the urge to suggest he work on his pick up lines.

   We walked through the bustling crowd to the fountain.  As before, there aren't very many people there - two or three who were milling about and a few joggers and casual strollers.  At a quarter to four my spouse asked, "Is anyone going to show up?"

   There is a palpable grim determination and an almost weary resignation, a frightening banality to it all.  This, the routine of watching others driving up, unloading signs and still other protesters who trickle in over the next hour (ultimately having around 200 pickets present on the line).  The drummers start late.  We converse with other protesters standing next to us, commenting on each other's choice of signs, exchanging the address of alternative web sites, bashing the media whores (all of them), talking about the future of the party.  Most of the conversations take on a mundane tone, as if we were all sharing afternoon tea and pleasant talk with old friends, while the occasional driver intrudes with a car horn in support or another flips us off.

   I held my three signs in alternation.  In an act of petty defiance, after a series of passing motorists direct angry gestures at us, I settle on holding up my most partisan sign - "No W bartcop.com".  I want them to be as angry as I am.  At that point my spouse decided to hold up the sign which reads, "In the Name of God, Stop Killing, In the Name of God".

   There is quiet, stubborn defiance in this persistence.  The sense of community and empowerment takes over.  It is an affirming experience, a sense of mission in letting others know they are not alone in their opposition to this obscene war. If not now, when? If not us, who?

   We took time, as did several other protesters, to take some pictures in the fading light.  I walk down the line, see and greet my new friend, the retired Catholic priest who I met at the previous event two weeks ago.  A younger man introduces himself and his wife.  He is the son of a long time activist friend. I inquire about his mother's health, he tells me she is fine and that she said to look for me - holding the bartcop sign.

   After a brief series of announcements over a bullhorn by the organizers we left the protest and walked through the Plaza back to our car.  The near instant juxtaposition with upscale holiday shoppers is jarring.

Now we get a few single fingers. Some people just refuse to look at us, especially when they are stopped in front of us by the traffic signal into the Plaza. It's interesting to see their discomfort. Guilt maybe?

I point out to another individual on the line that the majority of single finger salutes appear to come from people (of all ages) in cars (from all economic backgrounds) with Kansas license plates.

We get thumbs up, peace signs, and honking horns from many.

We also get a few drunks hanging out of windows yelling incoherent phrases. At one point, the activist next to me remarks, "I hope the driver isn't as drunk as his passenger."

A clock tower strikes the hour. Several people on the line turn from the street to start home. So, at 5:00 p.m. I walk back to my car for the hour long drive home.

There are no "serious people" in the old media. There haven't been any for years.

Those people on the picket line have a hell of a lot more credibility, not to mention, actual possession of critical thinking skills.

by Michael Bersin 2007-01-08 05:35PM | 0 recs
Re: They never will get it.
Thanks for the descriptions of serious people protesting war. Your descriptions could easily have been of my family as we experienced participation in several war protests in two different states.
We consider ourselves to be quie serious and informed.
by Ma Joad 2007-01-08 06:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious / Macho

frankly, i relish the fact that i'm not macho.  as a character in the movie/play 'the history boys' said (paraphrasing) "history is the long story of men failing catastrophically".  (there's nothing wrong, incidentally, with my testosterone level, but i do have a different way of making use of those hormones.)  meanwhile, there's some merit to the argument that much of our current problems--hell, most human problems--come down to machismo.  i, for one, would rather see their balls clipped back a bit than apologize for one second for not wanting to go to war with every other dick-swinging culture out there.

by beyondo98 2007-01-08 06:04PM | 0 recs
Who's a fool - and who Decides?

Hacks like Joe Klein and Richard Cohen [and Joe Lieberman] wouldn't be such a problem if they weren't presented in the MSM as advocates for the "liberal" point of view on whatever the issue of the day happens to be.

Question is: How to get any other more representative "liberal/progressive" viewpoint presented in the MSM?

Thankfully the MSM are willing to quote Murtha, who maintains serious opposition to the war. And the MSM considers Obama to be a "liberal" and choose to quote him. And now that the Dems control Congress, there may be some quotes of "liberals" like Nancy Pelosi.

May the Dems hang together against the fools who started this insane war -- and may there be more Dems in DC in the years to come!

Thank goodness for the blogsphere.

by MS 2007-01-08 06:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious / Macho

This is navel gazing and as such not terribly productive.

How do we marginalise the likes of Klein and his MSM scum brethren?

By doing just what we are doing now. Telling the truth on the internet. More and more Americans are joining us here. Millions.

And the movement is gonna become a stampede when the roof falls in in The MeatGrinder.

As it surely will with military geniuses 'SlimeBall' McCain and 'The Last Honest Man' now in charge. Oh...yeah don't forget Bill Kristol he's an important source of military knowledge for President  Bush.

I leave you with what Rape Gurney Joe the LiarMann said today of the 'surge' idiocy:

'Can't we at lest try it?' he whined.

If we can't hammer the likes of this fool into scrap then this nation does not deserve to survive.

And if we don't it might not.
.

by Pericles 2007-01-08 06:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Serious / Macho

Accordingly, James Baker is famously quoted as saying, "Fuck 'em, they didn't vote for us!"  That being the case, I have been deemed for "not serious".  However, I did call for Congressional consideration of a Declaration of War where such a discussion regarding the "unassailable facts" could take place. But not meant to be since Congress approved their resolution to use military force.  Consequently, "gullibility" had political force from a negative standpoint.

So, those who argue "macho" are more than welcome to lace up the combat boots and strap on the body armor, and test themselves for"macho-ness".  Thus, anyone can participate in the "surge" and "escalation" when it first starts with our troops in Afghanistan.  In doing so, this will confirm that Bush is going back to his original playbook.  In short, the Principle of Incompetence continues, and yet, we are destined to create the non-defensive version of the All-Voluntary Army, and to wit, famously known as the "All-Offensive, All-the-Time" Army.

And that is where "macho" will take us all. Sad, indeed.

by Jaango 2007-01-09 04:06AM | 0 recs
serious is as serious does

often in the past, they have been successful at redefining "serious" to mean "pompous testosterone-poisoned blowhard", such that Democratic candidates who have tried to be "serious" have come across looking like Joementum GOPLite wannabes.  what they have gotten away with calling "serious" is a pompous style masking insane, reckless, arrogant, wasteful, fraudulent, abusive, tyrannical policies.  

(and when they can't question your "seriousness", they try to make you look angry &/or loony--cf. the "Dean scream" tempest in a teapot--or worse yet, feminine [oh, the horror!].)

fortunately, the voters at large are catching on to the fact that Democrats and progressives are more serious, more sane, more responsible, and generally more in line with what the public wants and needs.  

we used to let them get away with calling their arrogant pomposity "seriousness", but we must continue to make it plain that serious is as serious does.  

let them keep their pompous blowhard debate-club style; our leaders can be serious AND have a sense of compassion, decency, and humor--just like the rest of the American people.  

by chiefscribe 2007-01-09 07:58AM | 0 recs
Excellent post

"the establishment media sought to marginalize the blogosphere and, indeed, the entire progressive movement, by portraying us as unstable teenagers to their stern, wise and learned adults."

What constantly amazes me is the (sorry) professionalism of the lefty blogosphere. The establishment media and pols would do anything to potray the lefty netroots as terrorist-sympathizing, America-hating child rapists, yet whenever they try to make such charges, they lack evidence. What do they have? A four-year old comment from Markos about contractors. I don't know how it happened, but the leading bloggers are disciplined and cautious (occasionally, in my opinion, to a fault.) If this is a revolution, it's the coolest-headed revolution in history.

by david mizner 2007-01-09 12:16PM | 0 recs

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