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MSNBC: Mark Ames and Yasha Levine
Broke the Koch Brothers' Takeover of America
Fatwah / February 27, 2010
By Mark Ames


I didn’t plan on posting anything today, but then I made the  mistake of clicking open today’s piece by everyone’s favorite bearded-liberal, Paul Krugman, titled “You’re So Vain.” In just a few short paragraphs, Krugman unintentionally reveals why liberals are still getting their asses handed to them in every serious battle with the Republican Right: the liberal establishment is still convinced it’s competing in a middle-school civics class debate, which is why Krugman and his staff of middlebrow field marshalls like Jonathan Chait and Robert Waldmann are still whining about the same-old riddle that’s paralyzed them for 30 straight years: “Why don’t Republicans debate fairly and honestly?!” And their answer comes down to the same feeble: “It’s because Republicans aren’t as good as we liberals are.” Here’s Krugman:

It goes like this: Person A says “Black is white” — perhaps out of ignorance, although more often out of a deliberate effort to obfuscate. Person B says, “No, black isn’t white — here are the facts.”

And Person B is considered to have lost the exchange — you see, he came across as arrogant and condescending.

I had, I have to admit, hoped that the nation’s experience with George W. Bush — who got within hanging-chad distance of the White House precisely because Al Gore was punished for actually knowing stuff — would have cured our discourse of this malady. But no. Why not?

Indeed, why not? O the injustice! How can they not play by the same grammar school civics class rules that you guys do! It’s just…not fair, gosh!

Look, for the gazillionth time I’ll offer one plausible answer to that question: America is not a nice country, and we are not a nice people. Most American homes are cramped full of petty malice and spite. Republicans understand the private lives of Americans; liberals still cling to the public facade that Americans show to each other.

I’m going to quote myself from an article I wrote for the New York Press back in 2004, when it was becoming clear that the liberals were going to do their best to lose the election against Bush:

But what if the Truth is that Americans don’t want to know the Truth? What if Americans consciously choose lies over truth when given the chance—and not even very interesting lies, but rather the blandest, dumbest and meanest lies? What if Americans are not a likeable people? The left’s wires short-circuit when confronted with this terrible possibility; the right, on the other hand, warmly embraces Middle America’s rank soul and exploits it to their full advantage. The Republicans know Americans better than the left. They know that it’s not so much Goering’s famous “bigger lie” that works here, but the dumber the lie, the more they want to hear it repeated.

…If I’m an obese 40-something white male living in Ohio or Nevada, locked into a permanent struggle with foreclosure, child support payments and outsourcing threats, then I’m going to vote for the guy who delivers a big greasy portion of misery to the Sarandon-Robbins dining room table, then brags about it on FoxNews. Even if it means hurting myself in the process.

Which leaves liberal generals like Krugman so completely clueless about how to battle these creeps that he winds up siccing a human dingleberry named Ezra Klein on them, with devastating results:

(Ezra Klein once described Dick Armey thus: “He’s like a stupid person’s idea of what a thoughtful person sounds like.”)

Oo, that’s a zinger! Atta boy, Ezra! Wayta pepper ‘im with the ol’ one-two!

Memo to Field Marshall Krugman: ass-kissers don’t make good assassins. Yes, I know it’s hard to grasp; I know that getting slaughtered by the Republican Right for 30 years straight is not much time to learn a lesson like that. Which is why I’m here to help explain things. Your Ezra Klein is not a weapon; he’s what you clean your ass with when the baby wipes are out.

Which is fine, everyone likes flattery. But there’s a time for everything.

real american2

“Dang, that Ezra Klein just destroyed poor Dick Armey!”

Ah fuck it, it’s useless. And I’m already wasting too much time for no good reason.

Look, here’s the Cliff Notes version: Americans are mean, and they don’t like losers. Siding with the liberals’ Army of Feebleness has proven, once again, to be like volunteering for Custer’s Army, only this is worse: it’s like joining Custer for the straight-to-DVD remake of Little Big Horn, a remake that’s getting a little old by now. Who wants to go through that all over again?

Mark Ames is the author of Going Postal, and the co-author of The eXile: Sex, Drugs and Libel in the New Russia (Grove).


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Add your own

  • 1. matt  |  February 27th, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    That’s a good comment on not only Krugman, but the bourgois liberalism that accounts leftist thought in the US via Alternet/HuffPo/DailyKos/MSNBC, etc, etc. It pisses me off as a lefty American that the best I can do for info on the net is complete BS from alternet/crooksandliars/huffpo/DailyKos/ etc., who couch their rhetoric in nonsense about parliamentary procedure.

    Thanks to Mark Ames for being honest as always. I know that you weren’t planning on posting Ames, but it was worth it. Krugman’s a decent guy, but, like so many other bourgois liberals, he doesn’t go far enough.

  • 2. cosmocide  |  February 28th, 2010 at 12:24 am

    Well let’s be fair. Krugman knows there is no dialogue and no debate here – just stonewalling from the powerful and the shits on their leashes. He is well aware of it since he is a part of it, he has too much invested in it – hence his bullshit center-right “leftist” keynesianism and all the bland stuff you get from the liberal end of the establishment’s spectrum of beliefs (“hey guys if we just kill them slowly & less bluntly they won’t go for our throats so much!” vOv).

    He’s just nervously hoping the people who’re running on their own self-interest with him will pretend better there is a debate (perhaps mad at why these people are not being more efficient and placating to reformist doses to legitimize their own predatory beige micro-fascisms).

    Chomsky exposes well the sort of thinking the sort of chap like Krugman runs on in “The Torture Memos and Historical Amnesia” (the idea that the systemic structure is overall morally sound in principle and only a few repairs will do just fine – at least to legitimize its crimes, i.e. “Bush was only bad for his blunt & arrogant honesty”). Too bad he doesn’t expose his own lackings as well.

  • 3. The Anarchists  |  February 28th, 2010 at 1:09 am

    If you’re sick of playing nice, we’re always here.

  • 4. Joe Stack's Financial Advisor  |  February 28th, 2010 at 1:30 am

    Hmm, not too sure if we want to go slapping at the Neo-con beehive. Slight a liberal conception of the health-care bill and you might get hit with, I don’t know, a fact-based opinion 😉

    Tell a neo-con our little playground in the Middle East is based on lies and greed and they start going all 1776 on your ass calling you un-American; the irony is how I get through it though.

  • 5. Doctor Doomlove  |  February 28th, 2010 at 2:48 am

    You’re half right Ames, but you need to stop being so judgmental and see the situation in evolutionary terms. Elitist liberals like Krugman are the nerds who never got beat up in the schoolyard by the right wing bullies because they’ve been so coddled all their lives. These pencil necks are apparently so lacking in common sense that they think human beings are governed by cerebral Socratic thought processes rather than lizard brain tribal instincts.

    The thing is, in the ancestral environment, the Krugmans of the world lasted about 5 minutes, whereas the knuckle-dragger’s superior instincts and aggression allowed him to flourish. Essentially, liberalism is a mutation that only survives in an environment of affluence and high complexity; in a simplified world it’s all about family, tribe and clan (there aren’t too many liberals in the Afghan mountains or the Somali deserts the last time I checked). If, as I believe, a new dark age is upon us, the “liberal gene” will no longer have much value and these mutants will be the first to go. Or to put things another way, the “revenge of the nerds” chapter of history is ending, and the next chapter is going to be titled “the thugs strike back”.

  • 6. selfContradictingLiberaliod  |  February 28th, 2010 at 3:10 am

    The left will continue to get its ass kicked because the left doesn’t do anything. That’s just the way liberalism is built. They just whine and b8tch endlessly while the “right” actually does something (although I don’t completely agree w/ some of their points and some of the things they say is false) by going to the town hall meetings with their assault rifles reminding the govt. officials that people are really pissed and also who they work for . Besides liberal areas are miserable places to live ahd have no interaction. Why won’t liberals come up with their own version of tea parties as a response? because liberalism can’t come up with a reason, a purpose to organize one in the first place or can’t get enough people interested. Probably the only lefties in history who have done something to fight for their rights is the 60’s Black Panthers. They went up to places with their guns, their own version of a tea party. But people of course are afraid of very scary minorities running around with firearms so the senile bastard Reagan made it illegal to carry in one’s own vehicle (all they had to do was pull them over and ta dah! just having a gun in your own property, your vehicle, will get you jail time) Which is why California, a Democrat place, along with other blue states, is one of the most unfree places in the union and they rely on lots of government for protection from crime and enforcing liberal laws, and event he govt. is failing at that (while unionizing themselves just for their own benefit, like prison guards unions and teachers unions). People are fleeing those places in record numbers. Liberals just can’t come up with a reason or a purpose to organize a tea party, or a similar movement, and wouldn’t have many people interested. Even if it did the thing would just break apart. Liberals should just peacefully give up and accept their role as punching bags.

  • 7. Fissile  |  February 28th, 2010 at 6:15 am

    “Americans are mean, and they don’t like losers.” Yup. Actually, that’s pretty much true of most humans. The average human is by design a victory whore, who goes along with authority because it’s authority. Imagine if Hitler got out of his grave and took over America. The same patrio-tards you see driving Toyotas plastered with American flag stickers, would be driving Toyotas plastered with swastikas, and turning in their Jewish neighbors in exchange for Walmart gift cards.

    The masses never respond to reasoned argument, only emotion. The truth doesn’t work, I know, I tried and it — just made me poor. You have to make the masses feel, the kind of feeling that comes from getting 12 inches stuck up your ass. That’s what they respond to.

  • 8. Necronomic.Jaded  |  February 28th, 2010 at 7:25 am

    @4 Will we host a vegan pot luck, and maybe throw a brick through a Starbuck’s window and call it revolution?

  • 9. matt  |  February 28th, 2010 at 9:29 am

    @3, yeah, well anarchism’s not a bad idea, but this is the US not Greece; people here aren’t in a state of readiness for the next riot, demo, etc…

    Christ, I really shouldn’t post when I’m drinkin’, if only because alternet is better than the other sites that I mentioned. It publishes ames/levine so it can’t be all bad, I guess.

    I suppose my problem with the net and the left/liberal sites has more to do with the oneupsmanship. Like, “omg! Maddow really took down Glenn Beck on her show! Let’s comment on it!” (Yes, I’m commenting on the net, it’s ironic, I get it.)

    T’internets are a great place to get info, keep up to date on issues, but it’s not a replacement for action. The problem is, people figure that by reading the liberal sites and commenting on the latest personality bullshit going on with the talking heads they’ve accomplished something.

  • 10. Diet Coke  |  February 28th, 2010 at 10:44 am

    The truth may be even worse than the lies: that the left agrees with the right and wants to protect the right from their own selves so the system as a whole doesn’t come down

    As this guy says: “It should be noted that the only modern state to undergo a genuinely democratic revolution is Switzerland. No so-called “democratic” state is a true democracy, but a transformation of the old feudal state into a mass electoral feudal state in order to neutralize opposition to the ruling oligarchies. The proof is that we are never asked to vote on how the polities will be determined, on how we are to associate and with whom. Instead the ruling oligarchy “gerrymanders” groups of electors in bundles that they can control, and with their control of the electoral process they can obtain the exact result that they want from the election.”

    The right is just a rabid dog run amok, and the left is trying to quiet it down so the neighbors don’t call the cops.

  • 11. badnewswade  |  February 28th, 2010 at 11:43 am

    The more I see them in action, the more I think that the Democrats are actually doing this on purpose. Have you noticed that they always behave as if they’re in opposition, even when they’re in power?

    Liberal lawmakers are being paid off to fuck up. The US is a democracy in name only. It’s that obvious.

  • 12. Scott Malec  |  February 28th, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Nietzsche had an aphorism somewhere that went something like “why reason with the herd? How can you change a person’s beliefs with reason when they learned their beliefs without reason.” Alright, that sucked. But the main thrust of the message, I hope, was conveyed. You can reason with the herd. They respond only to emotion and instinct — the more brutal, the better. Fear, rage, paranoia. That’s it.

  • 13. coldequation  |  February 28th, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Thing is, it’s not at all clear that the left is looking out for the masses either. You say that the left has been getting its ass kicked for 30 years. What happened for the previous 20 years? Democratic control of all branches of government, except for an 8 years of Ford/Nixon in the executive branch, and a rapid cultural shift to the left. The result? Stagflation, a crime wave, higher taxes, our first lost war, third world camel jockeys taking Americans hostage because they knew we wouldn’t do anything about it, affirmative action, busing, cultural degradation. Was 1980 really better than 1960?

    Is there any reason to believe that the left wouldn’t do the same thing again if it had the chance? Well, not exactly the same thing, because most of it was never rolled back, so they would take it to the next level.

  • 14. Michael  |  February 28th, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Ames and Krugman are just describing two facets of a whole. Krugman explains how Americans think, and why they are so suspectible to right-wing retard mantra’s, whereas Ames delves into the psyche that causes them to think as such. I don’t see why Krugman has to be slammed for this.

    I would also say that Krugman knows exactly why the media focus on how someone comes across – he’s an extremely intelligent man and his ‘The Conscience of a Liberal’ explained perfectly why America is in the state it’s in, and what the first steps have to be to get it out of there. The little rant that forms the second half is just an intelligent man’s exasperation. If he didn’t rant like that, Ames would deride him for not being honest enough or some shit.

    Ames, you’re a terrific writer and since I’ve discovered the Exile half a year ago I visit it every day, but use your abilities for something more important and constructive than trying to stomp Krugman. He’s on our side.

  • 15. Necronomic.Jaded  |  February 28th, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Did I type @4? Oops I meant @3. Meh.

  • 16. Big Tom Freidman  |  February 28th, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Maybe Krugman should get writing lessons from his colleague at the Times Judith “WMD” Miller.

  • 17. Kamron  |  February 28th, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    Besides liberal areas are miserable places to live…

    Yeah, everybody knows New York City is just a big ole downer. Nothing to do there, no siree- I don’t believe they have a single cockfight, and on a Friday night no less.
    Here’s a hint, dumbfuck- the higher the property values, the more people want to live there. You almost can’t fucking *pay* people to live in the cesspool that is Alabama.
    I mean, you call tell yourself all day that you’d never trade your shack in the swamp for a Chicago highrise, a NYC flat, a condo in San Francisco, a bungalow in LA. But virtually everyone else in the USA would prefer to shoot themselves and get it over with.

    Why won’t liberals come up with their own version of tea parties as a response? because liberalism can’t come up with a reason, a purpose to organize one in the first place or can’t get enough people interested

    I dont know how you think Liberals ended up with 60 Senate seats in the first place. Hint: they were pretty fucking organized. No, Democrats aren’t going to come up with counter-tea-parties- we’re not into the whole “Triumph Of The Will” schtick. If you dig that, it’s true that you’ll need to get your fascist fix elsewhere.

    They just whine and b8tch endlessly while the “right” actually does something…

    Social security. Medicare. Medicaid. FDIC. Peace Corp. Desegregation. Unemployment. Clean air and water acts. Workman’s comp. Overtime pay. Workplace safety. Endangered species act. Superfund.
    Whereas the right celebrates traitorous shitbags like Ollie North. The Left- wins WWII. The Right- pulls for the facsist victory over democracy.

    You’re welcome, douchebag.

  • 18. FrankMcG  |  February 28th, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    Oh man, I was so ready to have fun with “Liberaloid” (that name shows you the extent of conservative satire there), but Kamron beat me to the punch. He made insane statements in the Ayn Rand article comments (“Schools don’t educate”), he makes insane statements here. Blue states not nice to live in? Can you get any more reality-denying than that?

    “Which is why California, a Democrat place,”

    Ha ha, that darn commie California, always electing those lefty Democrat governors.

    “along with other blue states, is one of the most unfree places in the union”

    unfree, nonplus, Ingsoc

    YOU’RE BASING THIS ENTIRELY OFF THEIR GUN LAWS. I swear to god, for all the tea party talk, you people don’t give a shit about the constitution except for the 2nd amendment.

    “and they rely on lots of government for protection from crime and enforcing liberal laws”

    Relying on the government to enforce laws. THOSE PUSSIES!

  • 19. FrankMcG  |  February 28th, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    Sorry, I meant to comment on the actual article, but Liberaloid’s insanity distracted me for a sec.

    The dawn of the television age has pretty much boiled it down to “the more charismatic side always wins”. Nobody wants a worry wort drawing charts showing you what the problem is (even if he’s right), they want a strong friendly personality reassuring them (even if he’s wrong).

    Kennedy beat Nixon. Nixon won only after Kennedy’s death (and Vietnam turning ugly). Carter beat Ford. Reagan had a slight lead on Carter in the charisma department (skills from his acting days, the Iran thing didn’t help either). Dukakis was a big enough disaster that uptight Bush Sr. rode Reagan’s wave, but was voted out as soon as people had a more charismatic choice in Clinton. And finally Bush “aw shucks” jr. beats out tin men Al Gore and John Kerry.

    I think the democrats finally learned their lesson once Obama came around. Not only did they have a well spoken charismatic candidate at last, they had finally learned that you never win a conflict by spending all your time reacting to what the other side does. Carter spent all his time warning how dangerous Reagan was and came across as an insecure worry wort while Reagan was a confident giant brushing off the mean man’s attacks.

    In 2008, McCain’s campaign spent all their time trying to discredit Obama and reacting to what he did. Obama’s campaign FINALLY realized that it was better to spend more time steaming ahead with their own message. McCain’s campaign spent so much time reacting to the other guy that they were left with no actual plan of their own, and everyone saw this in the debates.

    A woman is going to go for the charming guy offering her a ride on his motorcycle, not the uptight dope who spends all his time telling her how badly the other guys treat her instead of becoming a charming guy himself. The public is going to go with the guy giving a flashy speech, not the boring educated town clerk showing studies on how the flashy guy is wrong.

  • 20. Joe Stack's Financial Advisor  |  March 1st, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Liberaloid might benefit from a more “liberal” use of punctuation and proper grammar. I thought he was a troll with his handle “self contradicting;” but then he actually misspelled what was meant to be liberaloid as liberaliod (unless it’s some kind of obscure ancient summarian). Luckily we have his beautifully crafted manifesto to confirm the lunacy.

    This is the real threat to America, and the reason we ARE doomed. There are “people” out there that actually believe and profess the shit oozing from this poster’s keyboard.

    I’m going to buy twice the girl scout cookies this year to try and save America.

  • 21. coldequation  |  March 1st, 2010 at 5:58 am

    @Kamron, New York is a great place to live – if you work for Goldman-Sachs, collecting that stimulus money. I don’t have those connections. I most definitely would not trade my shack in the swamp for a flat in Manhattan, because even with a low six-figure income I’d be poor there, a loser by the standards of my neighbors, with most of my salary going to pay for that flat. My kid would be a loser because he didn’t go to the right preschool. No thanks. That’s why 9/10 Americans prefer to live in flyover country than places like Manhattan (depending on how you define “places like Manhattan” and “flyover country”).

    To say that Manhattan is so much better reflects an elitist attitude. Is that what modern liberals are about? Having contempt for normal people? Maybe that’s why average Americans don’t go for liberalism like they did in FDR’s day.

  • 22. Slaney Black  |  March 1st, 2010 at 6:30 am

    The more I see them in action, the more I think that the Democrats are actually doing this on purpose. Have you noticed that they always behave as if they’re in opposition, even when they’re in power?

    Welcome to the world of being the fuck awake!

    PS: Can we stop referring to Democrats and for that matter Kos/FDL-style “progs” as “The Left”?

    Any meaningful Left in America hasn’t numbered more than in the four figures since the CIO was put to sleep, if not since WWI.

  • 23. Hey Mark  |  March 1st, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Yo, Yasha Levine – another CA water theft article for you from the front page of the Contra Costa Times:

    Redwood City Saltworks developer poised to become major Bay Area water baron

    “DMB Associates, an Arizona-based company that specializes in upscale mixed-use developments close to wilderness, plans to pipe 591 million gallons per year from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to as many as 12,000 homes on the Redwood City Saltworks site via a series of complicated and unprecedented water exchanges that originate 300 miles to the southeast in Kern County.”

  • 24. Kamron  |  March 1st, 2010 at 9:56 am

    That’s why 9/10 Americans prefer to live in flyover country than places like Manhattan (depending on how you define “places like Manhattan” and “flyover country”).

    You’d have to define “flyover country” as everything outside of greater NY and LA, since 10% of Americans live in just those two metro areas. And I don’t think of downtown Chicago, San Francisco, etc as “flyover country”.
    164M Americans live in just the 50 largest metro areas. (source). Americans prefer cities, and judging by the property values, the bigger the better.
    When lots of people want something, the price goes up. Prices for urban living in those cities is astronomical *because* many people want to live there. Prices for real estate in Shreveport are not high because people are just not that interested in living there.

    I most definitely would not trade my shack in the swamp for a flat in Manhattan, because even with a low six-figure income I’d be poor there, a loser by the standards of my neighbors

    Well, the median income in Manhattan is 64k, so you wouldn’t be too out of place making low-six-figures. Of course, from that chart, if you like city living you could live in Queens, where the median and mean income is almost exactly the same as the US in general.

    To say that Manhattan is so much better reflects an elitist attitude. Is that what modern liberals are about?

    I don’t live in Manhattan. I don’t even live in one of the 50 big metro areas. So I understand why people’s priorities lead them to different places. But yeah, the wisdom of the market suggests that more people want to live in NYC than in Alabama, and given the activities, employment opportunities, etc in NYC this makes a lot of sense.
    Besides, wtf is wrong with saying that one thing is better than another? This isn’t Barney-land, we get to have strong opinions. There’s a difference between having strong opinions and believing that one is a member of an elite.

  • 25. Zirb  |  March 1st, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Liberals have a marketing problem– they should just say they want to be like Denmark/Switzerland/etc. (which ain’t too bad!) and stop fighting Conservatives, which have even less to offer than liberals– Conservatives just offer coporatism, fascism, and hate.

    The problem is that liberals propose ideas like they’re something new, when everyone know they’re not. Socialism is dead, but Western Europe is blazing the trails for how to milk capitalism without sucking it dry, and it’s actually not too bad, assuming it’s sustainable.

    What’s worse with conservatives is they’ve been taken over by Straussians who created neo-cons to push nationalism.

    There’s no way to fight against that– just say Western Europe, and that’s it, some simple slogan.

  • 26. Necronomic.Jihad  |  March 1st, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    @22. Slaney Black

    “PS: Can we stop referring to Democrats and for that matter Kos/FDL-style “progs” as “The Left”?

    Any meaningful Left in America hasn’t numbered more than in the four figures since the CIO was put to sleep, if not since WWI.”

    No we can’t and that was Rush Limbaugh’s most brilliant move ever;

    . . . As a leftist, the most frustrating thing about reading See, I Told You So is the way leftists and liberals are lumped together as “left liberals.” “Wait a minute,” I kept wanting to say, “we leftists spend the vast majority of our time offering scathing critiques of liberal ideology: how can you pretend that we’re part of the same bloc as liberals?” Now obviously in the realm of electoral politics the differences between liberals and leftists are glaring: vast numbers of liberals hold political office; all [END PAGE 13] but a few leftists do not. In the world of culture, on the other hand, the distinction is a lot blurrier. Self- proclaimed leftists do have positions in cultural institutions like NPR, PBS, the movie and music industry, and, above all else, universities. They frequently share the same taste-preferences with liberals: glossy, expensive paperbacks — think Vintage — by multicultural and Modernist authors that are the wrong size for the shelves at Waldenbooks or B.Dalton; folk and “world” music; natural fibers and other L.L. Bean-ware; and nouvelle or ethnic cuisine of the sort not easy to come by in Peoria. And they often do share with liberals a “moral code” predicated on a tolerance for difference as such that actually does aspire to the cultural relativism Rush and his readers fear. By focusing all his attention on the cultural sphere, Rush is thus able to transform mild-mannered liberals into leftists and take advantage of the residues of anti- communism that still saturate American society to discredit liberal ideology.

    But he’s also able to transform “radical” leftists into liberals, which should give the American left pause. Do we who call ourselves leftists really want to be functionally equivalent to liberals? On the one hand, it would mean that we’re winning the Culture War Rush is talking about, the one in which tolerance for difference, heartfelt condescension towards those “poor” oppressed people whose lives make for vivid fiction, and an unwillingness to thwart “diversity” by deeply probing any argument because “everything’s relative” all are winning out over the old ways, however much the right-wing backlash might have slowed them down. On the other hand, however, it would mean that we’re letting things be as the ideology of “laissez-faire” capitalism would like us to. So what other options do we have? While there are some aspects of Rush’s critique of left- liberalism that a seriously radical left might do well to adopt, there are others that are antithetical to the most fundamental leftist principles: we can’t just change sides in the Culture War. What we could do, however, would be to work out a position that synthesizes elements of both the right and liberal-left and, yes, I do mean thinking dialectically. . .

  • 27. Geoduck  |  March 1st, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    @13: “Was 1980 really better than 1960?”

    If you are gay, a woman, and/or a member of an ethnic minority, then the answer is a resounding snark-free yes.

    That said, “better” is not the same thing as “wonderful.”

  • 28. Doctor Doomlove  |  March 2nd, 2010 at 2:30 am

    To continue my deconstruction of liberalism: what liberals fail to realize is that all the gains they so smugly point to over the past 50 or 100 years were made possible by one thing: AFFLUENCE. LIBERALISM IS A FUNCTION OF AFFLUENCE. Affluence has largely been the result of two things: cheap energy and industrial agriculture. Fossil fuels are going into terminal decline, and climate change will massively disrupt industrial agriculture. This means the foundations of affluent, liberal civilization are CRUMBLING.

    Please understand that there was nothing normal about the past century. We have moved FAR FROM EQUILIBRIUM as a species, and one aspect of that was the historically unprecedented liberal revolution. WE ARE NOW GOING TO START RETURNING TO EQUILIBRIUM. This means that liberal gains are going to start unwinding, and more traditional arrangements are going to return. This is a natural process, it’s inevitable, and it’s a matter of survival. THE FUTURE IS NOT “STAR TREK”, IT’S “THE LAND OF THE LOST”. Infinite progress was the delusion of the last age; the next age is going to be a return to earth – i.e. a dark age.

    Once you understand all this, the political changes going on around you will start to make sense. If you choose to stay in liberal latte land, the future will be quite shocking. Consider yourself warned, and have a nice day.

  • 29. selfContradictingLiberaloid  |  March 2nd, 2010 at 11:47 am

    @ 17 Kamron

    Liberal places are miserable places to live despite “high property values”New York City? pffft… Everything is expensive as hell, They have big huge ass govt. that the liberals don’t mind bigger govt. nation wide because they are use to it imposing rules in their everyday lives.

    California is rapidly collapsing and will soon break away into the Pacific Ocean.

    -$300 for a 911 emergency call

    This town in Cali is a precursor to All of Cali.

    As for those supposedly savage, fly over backwards, middle American states they are weathering the recession better than the lib states. New York, Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago have more people moving out than moving in because those places suck. Screw their property values.

    East Texas is becoming the new Silicon Valley of the nation while SV, CA is collapsing just like any CA town and city. They even surpass CA in wind energy production in 14 years while it took CA 30 years.

  • 30. Necronomic.JustIce  |  March 2nd, 2010 at 12:19 pm


    There is no God, and there for there is no such thing as a natural equilibrium (That is some new age liberal hippie ideal thinking there). There is nothing normal about anything -ever.

    We are fucked, yes. Embrace it.

    But nothing, not even conservatism, or what ever it is you are putting your hope in, is going to save us. And there was nothing we could have done in the post to change this fact.

    Enjoy the ride. =)

  • 31. Necronomic.JustIce  |  March 2nd, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Post / Past. Fuck me -yes- I do typos. =)

  • 32. selfContradictingLiberaloid  |  March 2nd, 2010 at 1:11 pm

  • 33. Kamron  |  March 2nd, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Was 1980 really better than 1960?

    US per-capita income went from $13,313 to $21,170 (1995 dollars)-cite.

    higher taxes
    Wrong. The top US rate in 1960 was 91%, in 1980 it was 70%.

    third world camel jockeys taking Americans hostage because they knew we wouldn’t do anything about it

    And the American Right cheering the death of American soldiers in a rescue attempt, while their leaders bargained with those same ‘camel jockeys’ in a deal that would send them more weapons, even while the C.J.s were blowing up Marines in Beruit.
    I don’t know why moral cretins such as yourself think that “doing something about it” means “selling the enemy stinger missiles”. Reagan sure taught those mullahs a lesson- don’t mess with the US, or we’ll sell you high-tech weaponry.

    cultural degradation

    Let’s just say that 1)this is subjective and 2)not many of us want to be lectured on morals from those who think arming the mullahs of Iran and Saddam Hussein in the 80s was a moral good.

  • 34. Kamron  |  March 2nd, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    East Texas is becoming the new Silicon Valley of the nation

    Note the desperation of the whining- he hateses the liberals for being so smugly superior to him, but at the same time he desperately envies what they have eg Silicon Valley. You will do better in life if you aim to achieve rather than complaining about how everyone else is doing better than you.

    Liberal places are miserable places to live despite “high property values”New York City? pffft… Everything is expensive as hell….

    For a conservative, you show a profound lack of trust in the market. The reason that pork rinds cost less than t-bones is that people don’t like pork rinds as much. Now, you can go on at length about how good steak sucks because it’s so expensive, and how real Murikans love pork rinds, but the prices people are willing to pay show you to be a tasteless idiot.

    As for those supposedly savage, fly over backwards, middle American states they are weathering the recession better than the lib states.

    Relatively easy when your economy is based on pork bellies. Rank states by income- 11 o the top 13 are Blue. 13 of the bottom 14 are Red. You dumbfucks can barely screw in a lightbulb, you’ve been sponging off of Blue State taxes for decades, and now you want to crawl out from under your tattered stars-n-bars and tell us grown-ups how to run an economy?

    They even surpass CA in wind energy production in 14 years while it took CA 30 years.

    It took CA 30 years to surpass itself in wind energy production? Is English your first language, or is this just a produce of what passes for education among the conservative set?

  • 35. Doctor Doomlove  |  March 2nd, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Agreed Necro, nothing is going to save us. I’m certainly not putting my hope in convervatism as it is currently defined. I’m just trying to help my liberal friends see the big picture, since they seem stuck in a 1960’s vision of the future. We are living in a time of epochal changes, and the shallow liberal thinking that has prevailed in recent decades is simply hollow and has reached the end of its useful life. The progressive project is turning out to be a vast failure on every front. The future is Port au Prince, Somalia and Afghanistan. Talk to soldiers who’ve seen the hell that is the modern world from the front lines. It’s all about survival of family, clan and tribe from here on out. Liberalism simply has nothing to offer in the new Malthusian paradigm.

  • 36. Kamron  |  March 2nd, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Please understand that there was nothing normal about the past century

    Actually, the last century is totally typical of the last 3-400 years or so: accelerating technological improvements and increases in standards of living.
    But feel free to hole up in your cave and spend your disposable income on freeze-dried mule meat. Somebody’s got to eat all those damn mules, they aren’t going to eat themselves.
    If anything, the outlook today is pretty rosy. Compared to the world outlook in, say, 1915, 1938, 1962…

  • 37. Necronomic.JustIce  |  March 2nd, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Meet Glenn Beck’s newest love interest, Jed Brandt.

  • 38. Connors  |  March 3rd, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Great article. Keep writing stuff like this, Mark. There’s already plenty of ‘lefties’ going after the Right. Just look at any liberal websites. It’s too damn easy. We need people going after the liberal sellouts and pussies. Chris Hedges had a piece on Monday that’s a good complement to your piece.

  • 39. Dennis Redmond  |  March 8th, 2010 at 10:10 am

    It’s sad but true — Ames nails it. People like Krugman and Stiglitz are on the side of the angels, they know what the real problem is — Wall Street’s trillion-dollar looting of the US economy, one of the most egregious crimes of the 21st century — but they have no clue how to tell people what’s going on.

    The Left needs to learn an indispensable lesson from the videogame culture: happiness is not warm, fuzzy meetings at the debate club.

    Happiness is a warm gluon-gun.

    Neoliberalism? A barbarous superstition which destroyed America’s industrial base and sold out the country for a mess of foreign exchange pottage.

    Empire? A tyranny of lies, taxpayer-subsidized waste and fraud.

    The Federal Reserve? An outrageous undemocratic scam run by greedhead banks to plunder the country.

    Free market? Doesn’t exist. There’s only Government Sachs.


  • 40. aleke  |  March 9th, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Doctor Doomlove,

    Look up Ur-Fascism, that’s what you want. Zizek is right, just as any truly radical environmentalist. There is no “natural balance”, there never was, there never will be. Evolution is always a response to arrangements that are misaligned, and they are constantly changing and devolving and reorganizing. There was no primal epiphany at the beginning of time [or man’s ascension, or the creation of civilization/agricultural, or at any point of time]. We are living in apocalyptic times, but ‘Nature’ is the sum totality of present conditions, it is never at a resting place, it is never truly stable.

    Nature could and maybe will be plastic trash, just like George Carlin said. Do not project your fascist tendencies on something that is so open-ended, humanity as a species will never have a full grasp of.

    That being said, we are living in late-liberalism, from its progenesis in the Greek period, to its full blooming during the European Enlightenment. The two American political ‘parties’ are the same severely degraded liberal (property) parties, their ideologies are two sides of the same coin of liberalism (economic and social, which are blatantly at odds), and America is a corrupt and decayed liberal empire. Liberalism was always about the rational, universal liberation of humanity, but like so many other things, it was co-opted fully and unconditionally, and it has spent its progressive force.

    We must create new coordinates if we are to survive, as it is obvious that humanity can not dally without purpose or ideological cohesion for long, and will devolve into some fiendish thing before long. Fascism is too obfuscating and unstable, but you can go on believing in some natural order or hierarchy while we set things straight.

  • 41. Funonymous  |  March 11th, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Calling Afganistan, Haiti, and Somalia the front line of the modern world is pretty out there. Somalia tore itself apart two decades ago with a civil war with lots of backing by Ethiopia that obliterated any central government, and then the opprotunists of the world used the opportunity to strip fish its coastal waters and then use it it as a black market nuclear dumping ground.

    Afghanistan has been a keylog location of The Great Game for over a century of proxy wars and failed invasions. The populace has adapted to constant accelerating guerrilla warfare, and between fending off so many larger powers, they have gotten good at it.

    Haiti is practically the Tutorial Level for US regime change tactics so our intel agents have somewhere to cut their teeth.

    If anything, the modern world has been shitting on these three locations so long and hard that is why they are the wastelands of tribal violence they are.

  • 42. RalphLockwood  |  March 14th, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    I find this article somewhat amazing. I’m a Conservative, and not the type of pseudo conservative calling themselves a Republican. I’m the Conservative who votes against fire departments because I think they’re a waste of taxpayer money and it’s your own damn fault if your house burns down. I’m the Conservative saying every politician needs to be part-time and paid only $5,000/year. You’re correct, my type are a dying breed in today’s America.
    So I read this article and gulped back my bile and tried to undertstand the author’s POV. And I still don’t understand socialists. As an American, you’re supposed to respect the engines that gave this country it’s great wealth and freedom. Private property and (what once were) Free Markets. The Left which abhores personal achievement and wealth (it’s our money, not yours) thinks people should just smarten up and realize that the gov’t knows best and should decide what is fair. But the Left is the side that needs to smarten up, people work harder for themselves and resent millstones being tied around their necks. AND IT’s NOT BEING “MEAN.” It’s being individualistic, something the libs hate too. I wonder what color the skies are in the liberal world wherein everyone is “nice” and the gov’t rations out everything, and people are content working hard so the collective can benefit from their labors.

  • 43. Pleasance Hall  |  April 1st, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    ‘Goering’s famous “bigger lie”’

    Shouldn’t that be Goebbels?

  • 44. arrowrod  |  May 10th, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    I spend less than I make.
    Life is good.
    Except for my wife. She feels guilty.

    Does that make me insensitive?

  • 45. Zhubajie  |  May 27th, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    LIberals in the past were rough and tough; what changed?

  • 46. Zhubajie  |  May 27th, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    “And I still don’t understand socialists.”

    Socialism is old-fashioned peasant neighboring. People harvested, etc., together because they couldn’t do it separately and survive. That’s why S’ism flourishes in sub-arctic environments like Norway. Try to live like the typical Southern US “conservative” in Telemarken or Lappland and you’ll die the first winter. That’s why North Dakota, eg, is inhabited by Norsemen, not Dixie Pixies.

  • 47. Aaron  |  June 29th, 2010 at 11:33 am

    “The reason that pork rinds cost less than t-bones is that people don’t like pork rinds as much.”

    See, this is why I love Exiled Online comments: you can get your whole day’s worth of dumbshit foolishness, all in one convenient little thread.

  • 48. Aaron  |  June 29th, 2010 at 11:34 am

    “I’m the Conservative who votes against fire departments because I think they’re a waste of taxpayer money and it’s your own damn fault if your house burns down.”

    See? See what I mean?

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