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May 06, 2006


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The pettiness of the bait and switch looks a lot like calculated chickenshit. There is no serious reason why the toothbrush must be placed to the right of the toothpaste tube on the shelf and no reason why the toilet paper roll must show three squares hanging, no more. The demands for that are chickenshit, which has the sole purpose of enforcing rules to make obedience habitual.

Lohmann was not allowed to simply thank Colbert. There was no way to make him tacitly and consciously endorse the Vichy Democrats, so he and many of his fellow signatories were tricked. The publishers are chickenshit.

They've followed this up, incidentally, with two other "thank you" sites, one of which does have the explicitly granted permission of the "thankee" to be used as a prop for the shilling. The publishers may even to wheedle the other props into blessing their shilling, which would retroactively turn chickenshit into a modest faux pas -- even more contemptible, but very useful for the disingenuous, chickenshit talking point mentality.

What site has Colbert's endorsement, as depressing as it is to ask?

Sorry about that Tutor. It's not Colbert, thank goodness. The site they have with an endorsement is "Thank You Harry Taylor" http://thankyouharrytaylor.org/.

I got it, thanks for the clarification.

The Freepers stand firm, too, Tutor, in purging embarrassing posts by Tony Snow.

New day, new job, new line of bull.

Mm. Narcississtic wounds. Chum. I'm on my way. Stay right where you are, Preznit Toad-Exploder.

typo. sorry.

Typos are ok in blogs, especially in comments.

I've encouraged the author of PoliBlog for a visit to the dumpster. A reasonable and moderate voice. I got there through a trackback to digby via Wirearchy

The story of Cohen's hate mail, Gerry, and the reactions to it omit something important, (even laying aside my contention that Democrats and their critics have no business calling the party left wing). Cohen is in a position to facilitate his prophecy of harm coming to their political chances.

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen came to talk at Yale in 1988, just after I arrived. Following schmancy Yale tradition, he had tea with a small group of students and then ate dinner with an even smaller group. I weaseled my way into attending.

Gary Hart had recently flamed out in the '88 presidential race because of Donna Rice. And at dinner Cohen told all us fresh-faced, ambitious, grotty youths this:

The Washington press corps had specifically tried to push Hart out of the race. It wasn't because Hart had had extramarital affairs—everyone knew this was the norm rather than the exception among politicians. So Hart wasn't at all unusual in this respect. Instead, Cohen said, it was because the press corps felt that Hart was "weird" and "flaky" and shouldn't be president. And when the Donna Rice stuff happened, they saw their opening and went after him.


That's Cohen, part of a mob of kingmakers and apparently unaware of how much harm he and his fellows do on a regular basis. The easy arrogance and contempt for the "great beast" is typical of the pundit class, who also take care to make the bestial ways of their class seem "reasonable". Someone calls him a fuckwit? the taxonomy is correct, though the wording is indeed crude.

Your link reminds me of a link that I just sent Tutor. The Beast talked about in your link seems parallel to the radical middle in mine.

Cogent observations in that, Gerry.

absent proportional representation and multiparty politics, our policy-making process lacks a means to institutionalize reformist sentiment arising from the nonpartisan segment of the electorate . . .

. . . the natural tendency of either party to revert to form once a seemingly critical election is over.

Institutional inertia does not appear to have any internal solution.

So what is the point of focusing on politics? Are we doomed to being spectators? How do we land the Dumpster in the public square?

Tutor, I think one remaining option is to push the parties from the outside. Supporters of Perot and Nader have been accused of being spoilers, bullied back into the fold and sometimes driven out of the process altogether. Some small parties cross-endorse, run full steam and threaten to spoil. Chipping away is pretty much what bloggers already do to "establishment" intellectual discourse. That translates well to the political sphere.

"Build on islands of health" is the advice given to philanthropist Bob Buford by Peter Drucker. One thing we can easily do is to link to worthwhile alternative discourse or activities. We can create attention and a buzz if a few of us do it. Chipping away at the establishment discourse is a pretty sad life work, unless the process is funny, as with Colbert, from time to time.

If you "chip away", I'll have you shot. My founder clients have spent a lot of money on reliable election models and well-managed perception campaigns. You'll vote the way you're supposed to, and like it.

Gosh! That sounds kind of mean, but think of it is this way: the models we use ensure a stable, sensible transfer of power every few years. People who work in the field depend on the regular income that generates. I, myself, have considerable interest in making it work properly. You don't, of course, but then you're members of the shootable class. Which is why you really won't get a better offer than not being shot. But, because it's always been a pleasure visiting here, I'll include not poisoning your dogs, too, as a sweetener.

How about we have you shot instead, Tigg?

I'm not sure that it could ever work, but what if race by race not a third party, but a third and a forth to maintain balance. Using Perot and Nadar just as two poles of a new political access. Progressive conservatives on one end and progressive liberals on the other. That way you have someone sucking votes from both sides. In places where they have run-offs when you don't get a majority you might have any pair of the four parties where progressive voters are common and gaining strength.

Gerry, my premise is that the control is class based. I don't think having more elite groupings would have much positive effect. Promoting alternative parties is just one tactic: a small step. The Green Party already has think tanks attached to it that are not accountable to the party members. Their elected representatives' voting would swiftly align with the rest if they ever held significant power.

Consider the elite wingnut's revolution. They hammered the Republican Party with losses of all kinds, bullied anyone who showed "pragmatism" and funded a decentralized perception management network. What's more, they take care of their own. The Democrats are still frantically distancing themselves from the left, but calling on it when they want something. As soon as they get it, it's off to windsurf again. There's not even "honest graft" to be had, as the overlooked operatives continually lament. The Dems are weakest portion of the political class's armor, which is why I think it makes sense to go after them from outside the party.

It's hard for people who think of the Democrats as the party of the New Deal and the Great Society to acknowledge that the bigshots are a bunch of opportunistic cretins, who will only support progressive policies if they're faced with no other choice. It's the case, however. The cartel they have with wingnut power brokers is solid.

It seems that Hunter supports having you shot, Tigg:

Everyone on the planet should be anti-war. Here's a modest proposal: I think that if you ask someone if they are "pro-war", and they answer yes, you should shoot them. After all, they'll enjoy it, and it'll make things a lot easier for the rest of us.

I get your point about class and (self-appointed) elites. The two new parties have to be bottom up in structure rather than top down. The public drafts qualified candidates and elects them rather than being pandered to by the power hungry.

The Greens started out bottom up. Now they're getting ripe for bottom up behind the Dumpster. The original model was based on anarcho-syndicalist organization, or at least it came across that way to excited lefties. I lost my patience with them finally, last year, and dropped membership. If the parties we're discussing started off as benefit societies, that might make them more durable. Moreover, they wouldn't necessarily have to run a lot of candidates. It's kept in reserve, as a threat. Politicians in a formal democracy have to follow the community lead to a certain extent. Knowing that people will choose neither Coke nor Pepsi, and will elect someone dedicated to obstructing business as usual for a term of office, could have a healthy effect.

Scruggs wrote, "Gerry, my premise is that the control is class based. I don't think having more elite groupings would have much positive effect." I wish over the last few years of studying under Scruggs that I had not come to see things in this light.

Somehow it all seems to corporate, everyone in their litte silo knows which way is up and what they might do to proser. No one wants to stand outside the game and critique it as an independent mind or citizen. In fact it seems that for insiders, whether in the media, or in politics, or business or philanthropy, that thier real views are not much different from those that a rational actor would hold under their circumstances if his views were determined by the career payoff. This give unholy power to those at the top who can jigger the rules and dish out rewards and consequences.

On a rare cheerful note, Tutor, we very much have the start of a non-party political movement scattered across these blogs, and off the web into people with whom we interact. I can't begin to list the variety of skills and knowledge we bring to the table.

Here is more encouragement, from someone who has been thumping more learning into my head.

Gerry is patiently working on something that might become a viable parallel economic structure.

We'll know we're getting somewhere when half of us don't have to punch clocks in WB every day. We know what we want, although I think we forget it often because of distractions, and we have some ideas on how to get it.

"The eye changing, changes all." I find I just can't see the political debates as much more than Punch versus Judy. There are those who are in the game and those against it. That is the real divide. Inside Wealth Bondage or under.wealthbondage.

I am not so sure we wouldn't win a debate if we were ever invited to one. We are the unwelcome guest, for we call not just the game, but the gamesters themselves into question.

Some of us can win a debate, though the victory is fairly small when the audience doesn't dare acknowledge it and the stunned opponent has his hand raised from the stretcher. That doesn't contradict you by any means. Calling game and gamesters into question is "cheating", or whatever pejorative the think tankers and their media shills care to call it.

As scale after scale drops from my eyes I get despondent, but it really is quite liberating to at least know the extent of my ignorance. We need time, we have fellowshop and a track record of slogging ahead in a generally positive direction.


This book is worth promoting:

Goff is a great relief from Punch and Judy. The Dean book looks interesting too. Thanks.

It would your heart good to see the hackles rising and hear the gnashing of teeth when Baker proposes free market incentivization for lawyers, doctors and economists. If it benefits labor, just think what it could for the professions! Sometimes I feel selfish in not campaigning constantly to bring them this blessing.

Maybe outsourcing will reduce headcount in think tanks as the blogs do it better, faster, cheaper.

WB's Tigg Montague thrives in the blogging environment. He reaches heights only select AEI scholars have managed. He'd make a good role model for the rest of them. They could have little pictures, just like his, and online CVs. I'd be delighted to help them get started. The Dumpster might get a bit cramped, but we could steal a drop cloth and make a bivouac for temporary lodging. Once they learned to take some personal responsibility they'd be okay.

WB Fellows, one and all.

Cluster analysis of Senate votes might be of interest here as well. One interesting tidbit is that the core of the republicans is the moderates and the core of the democrates is the more liberal wing. Probably the corporate interests pull Dems toward the Repub moderates which is where the corporatists live.

"At the recent Washington Correspondents' Dinner, master comedian Stephen Colbert performed magnificently. With the rapier of wit and the mace of truth, he respectively skewered and censured the presidency of "dum'ass botch".

Talk about wonderful lagniappe! Mr Colbert made that nincompoop's lap dogs in our national conventional media run for cover with their tail between their legs. And that's not all our man accomplished.

Tucked away in his address to the dinner's flabbergasted attendees, like a ticking time bomb, there was an 'easter egg', which we had absolutely . . . here 'we' is a polite nod . . . NO right to expect. Like the Easter Bunny in a mischievous mood, Mr Colbert camouflaged a bon mot, so profound as to approach philosophical.

oh, before I reveal Mr Colbert's casual accomplishment, I should like to preface with a caveat. The appropriate interpretation of that remark requires sagacity an-- . . ."

oh, alright (!) already, I'll admit it. The above text is meant to serve as "bait" for the dear Reader's curiosity. Yes, I would like people to visit my blog. And why not?! The average visitor is bound to find one or two startling insights. What's more, it's a good bet that more than a few visitors will discover that I evoke with the written word thought, hitherto more, well, tantalizing than articulated.

.he who is known as sefton


. . . oh, yeah, I should add that the full title for that post is "rehabilitation of and by and for the right wing" . . . by the bye, depending on visitor's essentiality, one might be either heartened or dismayed by one, or two, of my easter eggs.

I really wish people who get spammed by Sefton would delete his comments and ban him. He's insufferable and he's been insufferable for as long as there have been commenting facilities on blogs. He's the guy who comes into the hospital room while your loved one is dying, insists on telling you his complete political theory, then lays his finger alongside his nose and smirks encouragingly. He won't hear whatever you say in response. He just floats along on his cloud of self-generated methane looking for his next victim.

I would be happy to delete, but the comment speaks for itself.

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