Archive

  • Comment Rules

    Things have been lively round here lately and I love it, but one thing: no matter who offends you, swiping their name and posting ridiculous comments is off-limits. The only way these boards can function without some sort of registration system is if we respect each other's monikers. Argue, attack, fisk, debunk...but play clean. The conservatives on the boards, infuriating though they may sometimes be, do put out another viewpoint and do keep us on our toes. The goal, then, is to have better arguments, not drive them away by screwing with their identities.
  • And Then Take Him Disco Dancing!

    C'mon, those last two have to be jokes, they just ascend in subtextual homosexuality. And is the problem with gay teens really that they're not aware of the many other penises the world has to offer? Cause I would've thought it was just the opposite.
  • Fight to Win

    The post-Hackett argument for funding challengers in every race is a well-intentioned, but not really convincing, bit of political strategy. Democrats have X dollars, to fund a challenger everywhere in the country will, unless we have some sort of federal finance reform, bankrupt the party and suck much-needed cash from close districts in order to fund longshot challenges in preordained races. Hackett was a hell of a test, but a candidate like him contesting an open seat during a special election simply creates a different dynamic than a local DA attacking a popular incumbent in an on-year. Most seats are not open. Most candidates are not Hackett. And most races don't get a news vacuum to fill. Nevertheless, we should be fighting on more fronts. And that's where Kos and Bob and Jerome and Chris and all the other netroots generals can come into play. The dispersed intelligence of the blogs, which can gather information on hundreds of races, get reports from those districts, interview...
  • The Gildered Age

    PZ Meyers hears a debate between techoguru George Gilder and Richard Dawkins and says: Ashbrook recapped the last half hour by calling Gilder a "prominent American thinker". I am so embarrassed. But Gilder is a thinker in the way kids with ADD are renaissance men, it's the number of topics that impresses, not the quality of thought that goes into them. Before he became an ID advocate, before he began rhapsodizing over high-bandwidth utopias, before he wrote on three or four other subjects he had no business pontificating over, he was a gender theorist attempting to rationalize traditional gender roles as essential to our natures. His book began with a long and incoherent parable about a courageous knight saving a helpless princess from a dragon, then living happily ever after. Pages later, he contrasted this with a self-sufficient princess who does the job herself, shakes off the prince's attempts to help, and becomes a lonely shrew. A couple chapters later, he attempted to attack...
  • A Rare Moment of Praise

    I think Jonah's both right and funny on this .
  • Iraq Oddities

    Look, I'm not entirely sure what the story is with this, but when 50 to 120 armed men enter Baghdad's city hall during a dust storm, depose the old mayor, and install their own guy, it seems fairly obvious that freedom is not marching, crawling, or even twitching a whole lot. Too many antsy guys with guns are standing in front of it. What's becoming clear is that stability in Iraq might be in a zero-sum struggle with freedom. This Shi'ite thug is probably going to remain mayor of Baghdad, but, on the bright side, that may invest him and his group in the political process. As Larry Diamond says : If we do not pursue a political strategy that seeks to divide and peel away part of the violent resistance, by bringing them into the political process and assuring them that we are going to leave—and completely—within some foreseeable time (even if it is three years from now), then the insurgency will keep burning But if we do follow his recommendation, we end up injecting a lot of regressive...
  • On Sheehan

    And, as an addendum to my post from Monday on leftist essayists, Lance Mannion doesn't always do politics, but when he does, there's nothing but scorched earth and body parts for miles. His post on Cindy Sheehan leaves no hackish counterattack alive: Forget the illogic of invoking the old "so and so is turning over in his grave" cliche in this case. The behavior meant to be shamed would not be necessary if that so and so was alive to condemn it. If Casey Sheehan was alive to scold his mother for camping out in Crawford she would not be camping out in Crawford. Forget also the childishness of it, the way talking about Casey Sheehan as if he was alive saves them from having to face the fact of his death, of Death itself. Soldiers don't die, they just take up residency in Vallhalla. We don't have to mourn them. We don't have to question why they died. They're happy there! They want to be there! O Death where is thy sting, and mommy, leave the light on, please? And forget the narcissism...
  • NARAL Redux

    As coda to last night's post on NARAL, a few things: Brad, who should know he can never outstay his welcome at chez Klein, so long as he promises to call it chez Klein, has a fuller rundown of his argument at his place . Read it. I think the basic disagreement comes over how well you think Democrats stand up for choice. Kos and I think pretty well, Brad and DaDa Head are less impressed. Fair enough. Brad in particular points out that, in 1976, a Democratic Congress passed the Hyde Amendment, which restricted federal funding for abortion, and in 1993, 98 Democrats crossed the aisle to help pass a weakened Hyde amendment. This seems one of those perfect v. good arguments. Democrats aren't perfect, but compared to Republicans they are very, very good. And the playing field in 1976 was different than the playing field now. NARAL, back then a small group, had only been around for seven years, and choice wasn't as important an issue within the Democratic constituencies because it wasn't as...
  • NARAL'S Request

    Gotta say, Kos is all sorts of right on this. NARAL's exhortations to tell bloggers that choice is a real issue that affects women's lives is somewhat invalidated by the fact that bloggers seem to have a better understanding of what the political landscape affecting choice looks like. Helping to drive out Langevin, attacking Casey...A Democratic Congress, no matter the beliefs of a few pro-choice members, would not create an anti-choice judiciary. A Republican Congress has . And, sorry, but NARAL doesn't do the Democratic party much, indeed, any good (as this poll proves). If the party wanted to make a political calculation for more votes, it'd Sister Souljah NARAL and focus on economics. But we won't. Because we want what NARAL wants. Because we believe in choice. The Republican party doesn't. And so long as pro-choice Republicans vote for anti-choice speakers, that's all that matters. Kos gets that, NARAL, at least publicly, doesn't. Update : Oliver gets it . Update 2 : Is this...
  • Looking For Two of Three

    Scott Lemieux has a good time mocking Michael Lind's request that all Democrats stop being social liberals and focus solely on the butter, please: So let's get this straight. Democrats can't win because "populists" don't like Democratic positions on abortion (odd, since the Democratic position on abortion is far more popular than the Republican one. Lind also has an interesting definition of "banned," which apparently means that "you can only be the most powerful Democrat in Congress if you oppose abortion rights.) Populists were burned by Clinton. The electorate was so upset about it that in 1996 Clinton won by 8 points, and in 2000 they voted for Al Gore by a margin of a half million votes. Scott is, as usual, right. And Lind is fairly unprincipled for suggesting we give up on equality, choice, and everything else in order to win some votes. But there is a deeper, more interesting point lurking around his analysis: Democrats, as a party, are defined as much by our social stands (pro...

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