Wave Goodbye to Hillary Clinton

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I said it almost three months ago: After Barack Obama's delegate-hogging blowouts through the month of February, there was no way Hillary Clinton could still become president. Sure, she's performed better than I expected in the post-February states. I always thought (as the Obama campaign thought) that she would lose Indiana. But her win there was ephemeral and will net her one (1) extra delegate, and it came after public and internal polls showed her winning another clear, thank-you-white-working-class-of-which-I-am-a-part victory of 5 to 10 points. Expectations ran away from the Clinton campaign. Today the pundits are discounting the squeaker win and saying, louder, what they've known since February.

Andrew Sullivan quotes the New York Times, assessing Obama's resilience under a monthlong scandal/negative storyline cloud, and jumps for joy.

Wright is a grenade that will fizzle. The right will try other gambits—the Ayers crap and if that doesn't work, look for them to take aim at Obama's wife. But Obama's survival—or rather the voters' refusal to make this election about the Freak Show—suggests that Newt is right. This will not work this year.

The Wright stuff, and a few other developments in the campaign, had me openly rooting against Clinton last night. There was a time at the start of the primaries when I credited Clinton for a more substantive campaign than Obama. When I saw Obama on the trail (I never caught a town hall, though West Virginia's not too far away…) his campaign would fabricate a rally that felt like the concert portion of an auto show. Hours early, voters would stream into the venue. They'd chatter and wave signs as the event got off to a late start. Obama would arrive and give a soaring, but warmed-over, speech of crescendos and promises and Mick Jagger moments. Then he'd leave. Clinton, on the other hand, would hustle in to a less-crowded event, give a short speech very long on policy, and start taking audience questions. Sometimes she'd get an odd one and answer it with a howler. But she was never uninformed.

This, we were told, was why Obama was winning and Clinton was losing. I thought that was unfair. Clinton's microtrendy town halls, her dull, wonky events, and her long debate answers seemed like the sort of stuff a candidate should do, and Obama's events and answers seemed like the stage-managed crap that lulls the electorate into electing a cypher.

That changed sometime after the February blowouts. Clinton's people looked at the numbers and saw which voters were sticking with them–which voters had moved to Obama, but could be snagged back. They saw whites with less income and less education. So they made a virtue out of that support. They retooled the campaign to go after them and to argue, implicitly, that to not do so, and to not win them, was rank elitism. This is what Noemie Emery found so appetizing about Clinton over the last leg of the campaign.

She is becoming a social conservative, a feminist form of George Bush. Against an opponent who shops for arugula, hangs out with ex-Weathermen, and says rural residents cling to guns and to God in unenlightened despair at their circumstances, she has rushed to the defense of religion and firearms, while knocking back shots of Crown Royal and beer. Her harsh, football-playing Republican father (the villain of the piece, against whom she rebelled in earlier takes on her story) has become a role model, a working class hero, whose name she evokes with great reverence. Any day now, she'll start talking Texan, and cutting the brush out in Chappaqua or at her posh mansion on Embassy Row.

Cultural feints like that were part of the strategy. The other part was dumb policy, like the "gas tax holiday" that Clinton spent the final week of Indiana/North Carolina pushing at events and on TV. I'm flabbergasted that it didn't work, but it didn't deserve to work. Coronation, 30-point-lead-era Clinton was comfortable enough to talk to voters like grown-ups.

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  1. Where does the arugula thing come from? I thought Neil made that up, but I guess not.

  2. Dave, step back, have a smoke, and get away from the campaign trail for a few minutes. It’s not healthy–you’re starting to sound like the average reporter, claiming, that you were right all along, etc.

  3. I’m just a arugular guy.

    Vote for me!

  4. I don’t think she’ll quit. She’ll drag it out to the convention in an attempt to make Obama lose the general so she can try again in 2012. She doesn’t really care what happens to the D brand if it isn’t benefiting her personally.

  5. I’m still not seeing an overwhelming reason she should drop out; that is, if the superdelegates continue to stay on the fence.

    All her dirt is out there and has been hashed over a thousand times…Obama can easily tarnish (even further).

    Is the Wonky Wisdom still against a joint ticket? I know that it was CW that this would be a disaster ticket…anybody think that’s still true?

  6. I had Froot Loops for breakfast but that wasn’t too important. The toast was meaningful but eggs would have been pandering. Orange juice made me think of my republican father, milk is much more working class. Then I peed sitting down to really understand where Hillary is coming from.

    What a meaningless article.

  7. Arugula?!? That’s it, I’m off the Obama bandwagon.
    Fancy cheese, I can tolerate. Lobster bisque? Hell, even I’ve experimented with that stuff. But bitter salad greens? It just goes too far. Any president of mine must confine himself to only sweet lettuces!

  8. Dave, step back, have a smoke, and get away from the campaign trail for a few minutes. It’s not healthy–you’re starting to sound like the average reporter, claiming, that you were right all along, etc.

    Actually, he reminded me of Dondero.

  9. But bitter salad greens? It just goes too far.

    Arugula isn’t bitter, philistine–it’s nutty. You’re thinking of radicchio or endive. Get your garnishes and salad components straight, douchebag.

  10. The black racism in the North Carolina win cannot triumph over the nomination process. The Indiana win of a mere 9 counties by Obama out of more than 100 counties cannot triumph over the nomination process. Florida and Michigan must be counted; the remaining states must vote; and the superdelegates must use their independent judgment to select the best qualified candidate for the presidency and that is Hillary Clinton. The fight for the future of America continues.

  11. Actually, he reminded me of Dondero.

    That’s just uncalled for, dude. Show a little respect.

  12. Those were the Salad Days of yore.

  13. I particularly like the story line that Hillary’s big mis-step was the gas tax pander. That put in a new story line in play, displacing the Obama’s-friends-are-idiots story, and let Obama play to his new-kind-of-politician/politics fantasy myth persona.

  14. I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!

  15. Since we have an Imperial Presidency, I want the candidate to have a Caesar salad.

  16. When they showed a map of the areas Obama won vs. the ones that Clinton one, was I the only one thinking, “If you make Obama blue and Hillary red, it looks like a standard electoral map.” Clinton won the rural areas that Dems lose and Obama won the urban areas and college towns that the Dems win.

    Am I the only one that thinks Hillary doing a shot of Crown is more elitist than Obama eating arugula? If you’re going to do a shot of whiskey and be working class, make it Jack or Jim. Crown is what elitists think regular people drink.

  17. Leaf Obama alone. He’s salad – a growing lad – and he needs his Greens.

  18. AR,
    I think it’s because the superdelegates are less in play now. Obama’s blowout in NC and tight race in IN probably convinced enough of them that he can take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’.

  19. I was very happily wrong about IN and NC. I though the media dumping all over Obama and Rev. Wrights little psychodramatic performances would sink him.

    I am VERY glad that the Bush/Clinton era is over, and even happier that the MSM shit the bed with their culture war bull.

    Somebody tell me, what was the expression on Joe Scarborough’s face this morning?

  20. Lettuce make our own decisions about what to eat.

  21. Mo,

    Yeah, a lot will depend on what happens with the supers between now and say this weekend. Anyone see any news of supers declaring since last night?

  22. Ayn Randian, what Obama pulled out of his ass last night was pretty damned impressive. A blow out in a state where the polls had supposedly tightened, AND nearly beating Clinton in a state she was favored in all despite being dragged through awful news cycle after awful news cycle.

    I think the only reason the supers haven’t endorsed him yet is because they want to give Billary a chance to bow out gracefully (ha!).

  23. I want to be with the regular people and share with them the beer necessities of life.

  24. Epi,

    That’s just uncalled for, dude. Show a little respect.

    Just the first sentence did. May be the chide would make Dave get back on track with his excellence in journalism.

    but seriously, doesn’t this remind you of Dondero-type posts:

    I said it almost three months ago: After Barack Obama’s delegate-hogging…

  25. When I was in a Commie prison in Vietnam, the only beer they let me drink was Miller Lite – and that was only because the pigs wouldn’t touch it.

  26. Colin,
    Donna Brazille, who was pretty neutral prior and has said she won’t decide until June, sounded like she was going to Obama and that he had, in essence, won it all.

  27. As one observer noted sometime back, ” There is no quit in the Clintons.” They have come back so many times that they will simply never believe the writing on the wall. After all, last November it was “inevitable” that she would be the nominee. Then Obama looked like a lock, the Clinton came back, now Obama is ahead again.

    I think the upper class democrats sneer at working class democrats at their peril. Up until the 1960s the Democrats were the socially conservative party in America. They created a simply narrative of the rich versus the poor. Now they’ve created a narrative of an intellectual elite managing quarreling identity groups. Not a recipe for unity and electoral success.

    Since the 60’s Democrat leaders have thought of themselves not as representatives i.e proxies of the people but as a natural aristocracy whose inherent right to rule is merely confirmed by democracy. They don’t see job as one of reflecting the beliefs of the people who elect them but rather as using the power of the state to elevate the “masses” to their own exalted state. That viewpoint inevitably comes through in their speaking and writing. That is why they cannot escape the “elitist” label.

  28. Mo,

    It’ll be interesting to see how many (if any) go for Obama today or tomorrow. I mean, if he picks up ten or fiteen supers in a day or so then that’ll be significant (obviously).

  29. David,

    You don’t get any points for citing to Andrew Sullivan, unfortunately. Half the stuff he links to doesn’t directly support his own contentions. better to link to the original source in all cases.

  30. Following the Arugula link above:

    George H. W. Bush tried positioning himself as “working class,” telling Americans along the 1992 campaign trail that pork rinds were his favourite snack food. But during a speech at the National Grocers Association in Washington, D. C., his true colours were in bloom.

    He was marvelling at the electric scanners at the grocery store, a technology that had already been around for years,” says Kamp, using that as an example of a grocery store meltdown far larger than Obama’s penchant for arugula to show how a politician can come off as aloof.

    I read a in-depth analysis after Bush I lost that re-examined this event. It turns out the store was showing of some new technology, so the manager/clerk tore a bar-code into many pieces then taped them back together. The “ooh” factor was that the scanner read the crappily taped together bar code without problems. Every reporter present missed the point and declared the Bush I had never seen a scanner.

  31. but seriously, doesn’t this remind you of Dondero-type posts

    No… if I was writing a Dondero post, I’d do something like this.

    What a victory for mainstream libertarians! Hillary Clinton lost by running against the war and ignoring the libertarian base of the Democratic party. With Barack Obama, Democrats have a real chance to win libertarian voters who care about national security.

    Also, the victory of two Ron Paul-endorsed candidates in North Carolina proves that Ron Paul will lose his seat when I run against him in 2010.

  32. Clinton’s microtrendy town halls, her dull, wonky events, and her long debate answers seemed like the sort of stuff a candidate should do, and Obama’s events and answers seemed like the stage-managed crap that lulls the electorate into electing a cypher.

    Setting aside the particular candidates involved, is this really what you think campaign stops should be like? After all, in the end didn’t Clinton’s stage show turn out to be just as calculated as Obama’s? A political campaign is always a show — pretending that candidate wonkery is not another pose is a foolish mistake usually made by wonks. I support free-wheeling, carnivalesque campaigns because there’s greater possibility for strange breaches that reveal something interesting about the candidates.

    Anon

  33. I think Shannon is absolutely correct that the Dems are elitist. But between “elitists” and “warmongers”, there is no contest.

  34. Weigel…GET OUT OF MY HEAAAADDD!!!

  35. Shannon, by definition anyone holding office in the federal government is an “elite”. Republicans aren’t exactly the party of the people, either. Your last two Presidents were blue bloods with Ivy League degrees, so give me a break.

  36. Well done, Ali. I wasn’t sure if poking Dave with a Dondero comparison would get a response, but it did. There is little like the taint* of Dondero.

    * double entendre? Or triple? URKOBOLD ruling please

  37. No… if I was writing a Dondero post, I’d do something like this [blah blah crazy shit]

    You’d also brag incessantly about the pamphlets you’ve handed out and the hookers you’ve fucked, and somewhere around the thread’s 150-comment mark would veer off on tangents like “REAL libertarians vote for Clinton because they know that support for socialized medicine is what separates the libertarians from the Republicans!”

    And you’d pretend that those months you’d spent predicting Gravel in a landslide never happened. Nor did the months you spent arguing in favor of Edwards. Or Kucinich. You supported Clinton all along.

  38. Up until the 1960s the Democrats were the socially conservative party of racists in America.

    Fixed.

    And in the 60s, the Republicans were the party of African Americans. Coalitions shift, Nixon implemented the Southern strategy and the Dixiecrats went to the Republicans. What’s your point? Socially liberal Northeast and California Republicans largely defected. Between WWII and Clinton, California electors only went to a Dem in 1948 and 1964.

  39. Epi, I do not think that was Dave.

  40. Since the 60’s Democrat leaders have thought of themselves not as representatives i.e proxies of the people but as a natural aristocracy whose inherent right to rule is merely confirmed by democracy.

    As opposed to earthy cowboy man-of-the-people types like Yale grad George W. Bush, you mean? Nothing says “non-elitist” like an Ivy League trust fund kid whose daddy used to be the president.

  41. Libertarianism is whatever is in Dondero’s head. I.e., it is not much.

  42. Epi, I do not think that was Dave.

    Why not? Dave comments from time to time. You certainly gave him a reason.

  43. Well, may be it is him.

  44. Mo,

    “Socially conservative” has often gone hand in hand with racism, xenophobia, etc. though.

  45. Jennifer et al,

    Elitism has nothing to do with money or station. It has to do with the belief that oneself or one’s ego-identity group is superior to others.

    Bush may come from money and privilege but he evinces a fundamental respect for ordinary people lacking in most leftist. For example, he believes that people own guns because they have thought about it an think it the right thing to do. He doesn’t believe they “cling” to them because they’re marxist economic robots. He doesn’t believe that people are stupid for being religious. He respects peoples individual judgments on these matters regardless of their innate characteristics, income or education.

    Leftist by contrast, confuse compassion with respect. They think because the honest want what they think is best for other people that they respect those peoples decision making abilities. They want to take guns away from people because they think the ordinary law abiding person is to stupid to safely own and use a gun. Read “What’s the matter with Kansas” or any of dozens of other similar works for an insight into this mind set.

  46. Bush may come from money and privilege but he evinces a fundamental respect for ordinary people lacking in most leftist.

    Thanks, I needed a laugh this morning.

    Joe Scarborough, is that you?

  47. For example, he believes that people own guns because they have thought about it an think it the right thing to do.

    Right, that’s why he said he would re-sign the AWB if it “crossed his desk”.

    Does it hurt having your nose implanted firmly up George’s ass?

  48. Shannon Love,

    Pretty clearly many social conservatives don’t seem to have a “fundamental respect” for the decisionmaking skills of some groups of people. In other words, elitism comes in a lot of different forms.

  49. Since the 60’s Democrat leaders have thought of themselves not as representatives i.e proxies of the people but as a natural aristocracy whose inherent right to rule is merely confirmed by democracy. They don’t see job as one of reflecting the beliefs of the people who elect them but rather as using the power of the state to elevate the “masses” to their own exalted state. That viewpoint inevitably comes through in their speaking and writing. That is why they cannot escape the “elitist” label.

    Social Security. Universal health care. Environmental regulation. Minimum wage. Who, exactly, doesn’t reflect the views of the voters, thinks they know better than them, and seeks to elevate the masses to their enlightened state?

  50. FWIW if someone said I was an “elite” I’d take it as a compliment. Since when did that become a dirty word?

  51. Mo,

    The Republicans were not the party of African Americans in the 60s. They were the party of African Americans in the 20s. The New Deal coaltion split the African American vote (largely between north and south).

    Leftist by contrast, confuse compassion with respect. They think because the honest want what they think is best for other people that they respect those peoples decision making abilities. Sigh. You people need to take Econ 101. No, you know what? Just don’t worry about it. Let’s just talk about something else. We’ll take care of everything.

  52. Cesar,

    My favorite is when people use the term “intellectual elite” as an insult.

  53. the victory of two Ron Paul-endorsed candidates in North Carolina

    Yea! Were there any other noteworthy races where Ron Paul endorsed candidates-libertarian -libertarian/conservative-antiwar and pro-capitalism folks ran in either MC or Indiana?

  54. Sort of related to this thread, this parody of Hardball is the funniest damn thing I’ve read in the last month.

  55. NC or Indiana

  56. I’m an intellectual elite, subtly manipulating all of you from my high tower, which is, coincidentally, made entirely of ill-gotten ivory.

    I suppose the insult intended by snide remarks about elites isn’t that they are smart, but that (1) they aren’t “one of us” and (2) they’re not smart in any useful sense but are simply our version of Laputians.

    However, I remain your intellectual superior, crushing each of you through my cryptic machinations.

  57. Check out the CNN delegate counter. At this point, Clinton would have to win ridiculous landslides in every remaining primary to pull ahead of Obama:
    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/02/29/delegate.counter/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

  58. Bush may come from money and privilege but he evinces a fundamental respect for ordinary people

    yeah, right.

  59. Wave Goodbye to Hillary Clinton

    And good riddance as well!

    Scandal- “Goodbye To You”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAKyHhuw1HA

  60. CANDIDATE: Vote for me – the other guy looks down on you.

    VOTER: Any you don’t?

    CANDIDATE: I look down on you, sure, but in a more liberating, helpful way.

  61. Eric Dondero:

    Weigel…GET OUT OF MY HEAAAADDD!!!

    Kudos to Dondero for being a good sport!
    (credit whereever and whenever it’s due-always)

  62. Math is hard! Especially to the Media Elite.

    CNN keeps putting up NC: 56-42, Obama +14 and IN: 51-49, Clinton +2.

    If you do the math on the vote totals, it’s actually:

    NC: 56.7-41.9, Obama +14.8 and IN: 50.7-49.3, Clinton +1.4.

    Get a brain, morans!

    joe, member of the math elite.

  63. Joe decimals are for coastal elites.

    Out here in the Real America, we’re simple folks who just round off our numbers.

  64. Bush may come from money and privilege but he evinces a fundamental respect for ordinary people

    Wow. Just, wow.

    How do you define “respect for ordinary people” here? Seriously, what are the criteria? “He never says anything which might make an ordinary person think ‘Hey, I’m unfamiliar with that word or concept, and this makes me feel bad?'”

    Kudos to Dondero for being a good sport!

    I don’t think that was actually him. Check the e-mail.

  65. Joe,

    Social Security. Universal health care. Environmental regulation. Minimum wage.

    And in every one of these you list the contemporary left supports centralized technocratic elite decision making while the right supports decentralized, individualistic, decision making. To that we could add politically managed schools versus voucher schools.

    Again, the left confuses taking from peter to do what the leftist think is best for paul as respecting the decisions that paul makes. If the left did respect paul they would take from peter and then just cut paul a check. They don’t. At every turn, they grant benefits but only if they have final control on how those benefits are used.

    This was not always so. Prior to the Europeanization of the left during the 60’s the Democrats had a fundamental respect for the ordinary person thought and believed. Now they do not. Now they think of themselves as an aristocracy with nobel obligations.

  66. “Leftist by contrast, confuse compassion with respect. They think because the honest want what they think is best for other people that they respect those peoples decision making abilities.”

    Yeah, and when I think of the right the first thing that comes to mind is how willing they are to let individuals trust their own decision-making abilities. Especially the religious right – they’re just awesome at that.

  67. I don’t think that was actually him. Check the e-mail.

    Oh, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised…

  68. Sparky,

    Especially the religious right – they’re just awesome at that.

    I agree that in matters pertaining to sex, drugs or general hedonism the left is more an advocate of personal choice than the right. However, even in this case I would point out that right considers self restraint an obligation placed on everyone equally. They don’t consider it the obligation of an minority to herd the majority. They consider it the obligation of the herd to shepherd the individual strays. It’s oppressive but not elitist.

    During most of the 20th century, sexual license was sold as the mark of intellectual superiority. Screwing around made you part of an elite. Stupid, plodding people worried about disease and family structure while the truly brilliant realized you could screw like weasels.

  69. Shannon,

    And in every one of these you list the contemporary left supports centralized technocratic elite decision making while the right supports decentralized, individualistic, decision making.

    And in every single one of them, the American public sides with the left in overwhelming numbers, and the Republicans think they know better.

    Yeah, yeah, I get it – it can’t be elitism on your part, because you really DO know better than the common folk, who just aren’t educated enough to realize that society functions betters without the things they believe in.

    It really doesn’t matter that you have a nice line of bullshit to explain why you’re actually right to substitute your own judgement for that of the common folk. It’s still, by the definition you provide, elitism.

    I could just as well turn around and proclaim that the left supports individual decision-making about who to have sex with, marry, or read, while the right supports Big Brother making that decision for you. I didn’t, because that has nothing to do with the subject of elitism.

    Oh, btw, Social Security, the minimum wage, environmental laws, worker safety laws, and universal health care all date back to the 1900s-1900s. So much for your theory.

  70. Shannon, thanks for the comedy.

    Oh, you’re serious? Get fucking real.

  71. Are you crazy? The President is a ni-!

  72. He said the president is near.

  73. joe:

    and the Republicans think they know better.

    But certainly centralized, coercive, decision making is far more elitist by its nature. It’s elitism with teeth. It’s the force that the left advocates that’s the point here.

  74. SS can’t go on the way it has, the demographics don’t support the continuation of the current government social security system.

    Minimum wage laws can be cruel, keeping folks who have received terrible educations at the government schools from getting their feet on the first rung of the economic ladder.

  75. But certainly centralized, coercive, decision making is far more elitist by its nature.

    Not if it’s what people choose.

    It is not elitist to support collective solutions, nor to oppose them. That’s not what the word means.

    If I live in a three decker, and my neighbors and I settle on a set of rules for who gets to park in the driveway when, it is in no way elitist for us to hold each other to those rules.

    While it would be incredibly elitist for someone to come along, berate us for setting up that system, and insist that the only right way to use the driveway is first-come-first-serve. We can decide how parking works in the driveway just fine, thank you very much, even if your big, giant brain tells you that cooperating isn’t the best way to do it.

  76. tes

  77. Episiarch:

    Shannon, thanks for the comedy.

    Oh, you’re serious? Get fucking real.

    Insults are vacuous. Try a real critique.

  78. One problem with “elites”, too, is whether they’re actually elite in any real sense or whether they’re simply superior through self-proclamation. My feeling is that a lot of our supposed elite classes are more the latter than the former. It’s not like we’re living in the Enlightenment or anything. More like the Disenlightenment.

  79. I support antidisenlightenmentarianism.

  80. ( Comments don’t work in my Firefox for some reason).

    What has always puzzled me is that the same people who claim to be morally and racially “superior” are also apparently poor and illiterate. AND that said poor ( yet somehow “superior”) people need “leaders” that “resemble” them ( and by resemble I mean Ivy education, rich, yet happen to be white). It’s funny in the same way that some inbred redneck trash claim racial superiority to all blacks or Hispanics.

    Oh that’s right, I forgot. Of course every poor white “working class” person is a superior individual that is oppressed by immigration and affirmative action.

    I have also seen some criticism of “black racists” for voting overwhlemingly for Obama. Yet the same people don’t see anything interesting in the fact that the only people who vote for Hillary are white, over 65, and working class/uneducated.

    Hillary is running the Ron Paul Newsletter strategy!

  81. My God, shes staying in. Shes actually trying to go on the attack.

    Is she insane?

  82. And by white, uneducated, and over 65, of course I mean they are (more likely to be, at least) racist.

  83. Rick,

    To follow up, if someone new moved into the three deckah, and didn’t want to be part of the system, and wanted to use the driveway on a first-come-first-serve basis, and he coerced him into respecting the system that had been set up, it still wouldn’t be elitist.

    It could be coercive. It could be centralized. And it could be unwise.

    But it still wouldn’t be elitist.

  84. Insults are vacuous. Try a real critique.

    Blow me, Rick. If you want to lecture someone go find some hapless children to harass; I’m sure they’ll appreciate your old maid shtick more than me.

  85. But certainly centralized, coercive, decision making is far more elitist by its nature.

    Not if it’s what people choose.

    I think you’re falling into a fallacy here, joe.

    Just because an authoritarian thug is elected doesn’t mean he isn’t an authoritarian thug.

    Just because policies that are centralized and coercive are passed by politicians who win elections doesn’t mean they aren’t centralized and coercive.

    We have a Master Class of full-time politicians and bureaucrats who view themselves as the Anointed, an elite group uniquely qualified to “run the country”. Any policy that is centralized and coercive is inherently elitist, because it strips power from teh peepul and lodges it in the Master Class. Just because the Master Class is expert at gulling teh peepul doesn’t mean they aren’t an elite.

  86. Cesar | May 7, 2008, 1:15pm | #

    My God, shes staying in. Shes actually trying to go on the attack.

    Is she insane?

    I heart you for this fantastic news!

  87. Apparently, though, (via Drudge) even her on Supers won’t meet with her.

  88. PL,

    One problem with “elites”, too, is whether they’re actually elite in any real sense or whether they’re simply superior through self-proclamation. My feeling is that a lot of our supposed elite classes are more the latter than the former.

    Yep, and you will find a whole bunch of them in that “independant thinkers” self-identified group, easily spotted as a hurd of snooty Leftists reciting exactly the same words and “ideas”.

  89. R C Dean,

    You raise a good point. I do hate me some danged technocrats. To me, it’s so blindingly obvious that power should devolve downward, not upward, that I can’t figure out why anyone would want it any differently. From both a utilitarian and moral perspective, I think a more libertarian/decentralized system would be vastly superior to what we have now. Or what we may have tomorrow in “The Village.” I know joe’s going to chastise me for this, but I don’t think many problems are really solved by government, although government will come in with actions after problems begin to be solved within society to claim credit.

    I will say one thing about the left that just irks the hell out of me, even as a nonconservative libertarian–“reality based”? Give me a break. The right has its delusions, but so does the left. In spades.

  90. RC Dean,

    This discussion isn’t about authoritarianism.

    It’s about elitism.

    Two different things.

    There can be elitist authoritarianism (Kurt Vennegut’s Player Piano), and elitist anarchism (eliminating the NLRA to allow the “natural aristocracy” of businessowners to ignore the opinions of the people below them). There can be egalitarian authoritarianism (Marxist-Lenninism in theory) and egalitarian anarchism (early Marxism in theory).

    They’re simply not the same thing, and asserting that my point is wrong, without being able to offer any argument about my reasoning or assumptions, doesn’t refute them.

  91. To me, it’s so blindingly obvious that power should devolve downward, not upward…

    You want employees to have a greater say into their working conditions? Cool, me too!

    Oh, wait, no you don’t.

  92. Now the response will be, “but putting power over how a company runs into a elite is RIGHT,” blah blah blah laissez-faire dogma.

    Even granting that this is so, it’s still elitist – that is, it still assumes that power belongs rightfullly in the hands of an elite.

  93. Government power, joe. If corporations start forcing me to work for them and imprisoning me when I show up late, then I’ll join you. I think there can be checks on any kind of power, but checks and over-regulation/de facto control are two entirely different things.

    One big problem with comparing businesses and government is that the former have more quantifiable goals. What’s government’s goal? Maximizing happiness? And the difference in power between the two institutions is gigantic. Frankly, corporate power today is more than it would be if government (all levels) didn’t do so much to support it.

  94. So, you’re elitist in one sphere, and not another.

    That’s nice.

    It still tells us nothing about your opinion about elitism, just how you want the elite chosen.

  95. And don’t bother “explaining” your theory about how totally natural and right it is for that particular elite to have that particular power.

    I already know the argument.

    All elitists point to their natural right to lead. Changing the criteria for determining membership in an elite doesn’t change the fact that you want there to be an elite.

    Plutocracy is elitist. Having ranks in the military is elitist. Even meritocracy is elitist.

    Even if you are right about this particular elite having the right to their power, or this particular method of gaining entry to the elite being wise and just, it’s still elitism to proclaim that one groups should rightfully hold power over another.

  96. Once again, joe utterly fails to understand the difference between force and working for someone.

    Sigh.

  97. joe,

    I have to agree with Episiarch on this one. Where’s the real similarity between what I have to contend with as an employee versus what I have to contend with as a citizen? Not to mention that management and executives tend to have gotten their jobs based on merit (of some kind), not on their ability to win popularity contests. There is no perfect system, certainly not today but not even in Libertopia, but I don’t get this equating of corporate power with government power. The latter is an order of magnitude greater, with a far greater downside if it gets out of control.

    Incidentally, as an in-house counsel, I don’t accept the idea that the elites are calling the shots. The elites tend to be the educated professionals, but they only sometimes run things.

  98. Yes, “explain it” again. I just can’t follow the argument.

    That’s exactly it. It isn’t that I disagree with it, have a different set of priorities or values, or anything.

    Nope, I just can’t follow the argument, because I’m not smart.

    Condescending prick.

  99. Now, now, no oppression in this thread, at least.

    joe, I think your axioms are misplaced, then ?

  100. It doesn’t matter if the power by which the elite gets its way is different, or less imposing.

    That makes no difference at all to the question of whether they are, or are not, an elite; nor to the question of whether it is right for them to be an elite.

    Not to mention that management and executives tend to have gotten their jobs based on merit (of some kind), not on their ability to win popularity contests. The method of choosing who gets to be in the elite doesn’t make it less of an elite.

    The belief that we’ve found the “right way” to admit people into the elite doesn’t make belief in their rightful authority less elitist.

    There is no perfect system This isn’t a discussion of the efficacy of different policies. This is a discussion of elitism.

    Incidentally, as an in-house counsel, I don’t accept the idea that the elites are calling the shots. If you get to call the shots for other people, you are by definition the elite.

  101. Incidentally, as an in-house counsel, I don’t accept the idea that the elites are calling the shots.

    You are simply arguing here that the wrong people are allowed to be the elites.

  102. Once again, Episiarch fails to understand that there is more than one fucking subject for people to discuss.

  103. Lawrence O’Donnell in the Huffington Post said he was just told by a Clinton senior staffer that Hillary will withdraw on June 15. He said she will make one last push for superdelagates the week after the last primary.

  104. Technically, the people calling the shots at corporations are the shareholders. Which, these days, is a class increasingly composed of individual investors (ultimately, if not directly).

    I’m not sure I’m willing to equate “elites” with “those calling the shots”. For instance, academic elites don’t run the country.

    Anyway, my conversation at this point is more focused on the different threats posed by government and businesses respectively. If you’re suggesting that we can destroy classes in society and eliminate any type of elite. . .no, I know you’re not arguing that. So what are you arguing? I’ve never suggested that some animals aren’t more equal than others–of course they are.

  105. Technically, the people calling the shots at corporations are the shareholders.

    This doesn’t actually have anything to do with how the workplace is run.

    So what are you arguing?

    That any system which postulates that some rightfully have power over others, that those people SHOULD have their ideas triumph over those of others by virtue of their rightfully having control over which ideas triumph, can be described as elitist.

    That’s all.

  106. Anyway, my conversation at this point is more focused on the different threats posed by government and businesses respectively.

    The question of how the elite’s power should rightfully be wielded or expressed, or how they come by it, is immaterial to the question of whether they are, or are not, an elite.

  107. Bush may come from money and privilege but he evinces a fundamental respect for ordinary people lacking in most leftist.

    Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh, heh, heh.

    Heh.

  108. Which, these days, is a class increasingly composed of individual investors (ultimately, if not directly).

    No they aren’t. Most individual investors are invested in mutual funds, pensions or ETFs. The majority of them state that you do not get the vote, the fund manager does. So elites still call the shots at most corporations. If you aggregate individual, non-fund holdings of individuals of any major corporation (S&P 500 size), you’ll find it doesn’t add up to much.

  109. You want employees to have a greater say into their working conditions?

    Ab
    so
    fekkin
    lutely

    Don’t like yer job? Start looking for a new one. You’re not enslaved, y’know.

  110. I don’t much care whether a system can be called elitist or not. Just whether it involves me getting oppressed.

    Mo,

    Actually, all of the funds I’m part of allow me to vote my shares. I’m not suggesting that the common man is actually running corporations. I just meant that it’s not so simple as pointing to the CEO.

  111. PL,

    You just can’t tell certain Leftists anything. Unless you form a government “collective” they will insist that it is “unfair”, especially if they are not put in charge.

  112. PL,

    Also, you have a new message on the Cleveland thread 🙂

  113. When your toilet is backed up, and there’s shit all over the floor, your definition of “elites” might include plumbers.

  114. When your toilet is backed up, and there’s shit all over the floor, your definition of “elites” might include plumbers.

    Well, maybe, if they show up, take my money, talk about how stupid everybody using water based waste disposal and expect me to do the work myself while they drink my Scotch, smoke my cigars and try to have sex with the bearskin rug.

  115. Guy,

    I know Chattanooga well. I used to spend summers there with my grandmother, and my mom’s family is from thereabouts. And yes, I’ve visited Rock City several times 🙂

  116. Yes, “my way or the highway” is so empowering.

    Your answer, P Brooks, is “no.” You don’t want workers to have any say over their workplaces. You want them to do as they are told or leave.

  117. I know Chattanooga well. I used to spend summers there with my grandmother, and my mom’s family is from thereabouts. And yes, I’ve visited Rock City several times 🙂

    I grew up in Knoxville, but did not get familiar with Chat. until I was in my 20s/30s. Only spent the night there a couple of times. Was interesting. I wonder if that huge electronics/electrical supply store is still there?

    Oh, at my AV Advanced Course we did a 2 or 3 day battlefield walk of Chickamauga.

  118. Guy,

    My dad’s family is from Knoxville and from middle TN. There’s a house on the Chickamauga battlefield that belonged to my family during the battle. We get pictures there every decade or so.

  119. You don’t want workers to have any say over their workplaces. You want them to do as they are told or leave.

    How can you be this dense? Do you bend light as it passes you?

  120. joe,

    Before you compose your scathing response to Episiarch, might I suggest you reply in the same vein? Physics insults are fun.

  121. Episiarch,

    Oh, now you have done it! ‘He’ is going to whip out his file of someone who has called you stupid, then attach a dozen unrelated posts to it for “evidence” of your dimness!

    Of course, everybody gives him the highest of praise for his insight, logic, intellect and ‘fairness’!

    ROFLMAO!!!!!

  122. PL,

    Do you remember the band See Seven States? They used to play the strip in Knoxville in the late 80s or so.

  123. Hillary’s next pandering move will be to make a big show of eating salad with thousand island dressing.

  124. Guy,

    I don’t think so. Of course, I’m forbidden from visiting Knoxville since the University of Florida incident. I like the name, anyway.

    I liked Episiarch’s gravity insult and am having trouble coming up with one as good. Hopefully, joe or someone else hereabouts will pick up the baton. Make like a supernova and blow? Nah.

  125. PL,

    I thought of something, but not giving the ‘fellow’ any hints. Guessing ‘he’ is pestering all of ‘his’ Art Bell listening buddies for som sort of comeback.

    If you are thinking of something good to stab him with, try some of that math humour. Geometry can be a real killer, especially with that tool set.

  126. “Your answer, P Brooks, is “no.” You don’t want workers to have any say over their workplaces. You want them to do as they are told or leave.”

    It’s easier to leave a company than it is to leave a country.

  127. It’s easier to leave a company than it is to leave a country.

    Especially those utopias that build walls to keep their happy throngs from leaving.

  128. Now, now, my request for a physics insult war was in earnest, not an attempt to pick on joe. I’m not actually sure where he lands on the physics knowledge spectrum. About the only science we’ve talked about is GW, and that, of course, ends up also being an argument over immovable axioms. I’m guilty of having those as well, of course.

    Art Bell? Really? That can’t be true. Dave W., maybe, but joe? He lacks the love of conspiracy theories.

  129. Episiarch and PL,

    This is taking too long. You mus be on to something.

  130. PL,

    Okay, only in the interest of assisting you and not to pick on E, but there should be something in the planetary system of Sol that even ‘he’ could form a joke from, or rip off an old tired one.

    Orbital physics counts right?

  131. You so ugly, I think I’ve discovered why the universe is expanding.

  132. You don’t want workers to have any say over their workplaces. You want them to do as they are told or leave.

    An employer who adopts such a policy for all but the most unskilled jobs is shooting himself in the foot. The hire-train-quit cycle is seriously taxing on the employer as well as employees.

    Something tells me joe’s never been on the other side of the management-labor divide.

  133. Something tells me joe’s never been on the other side of the management-labor divide.

    Or the fast food counter.

  134. Your answer, P Brooks, is “no.” You don’t want workers to have any say over their workplaces. You want them to do as they are told or leave.

    It amuses me that you believe yourself clairvoyant.

  135. What could I possibly write that could be more insulting than having Guy Montag agree with you?

  136. See folks? A gem in every thread!

  137. An employer who adopts such a policy for all but the most unskilled jobs is shooting himself in the foot. The hire-train-quit cycle is seriously taxing on the employer as well as employees.

    That’s a fine answer from a pragmatic point of view – except for its reality-challenged nature – but since this is a discussion about principles, it doesn’t really provide much enlightenment.

    You’re making this much more complicated than it needs to be (which is usually what smart people do when they find themselves cornered in an argument).

    If you are arguing that management should be able to dictate workplace conditions, and the decision about how they do so and whether they will take into account their workers opinions lies entirely with them, than you are arguing for an elitist system. I could just as well argue that kings would be wise to take their subjects’ wishes into account. Yes, they should, but I certainly don’t have to explain to a group of libertarians who has the power over whom in that setup.

    An enlightened elite is still an elite.

  138. Guy,

    Was it scary for you and your buddies when they filmed Gigli at your school?

  139. joe:

    I said:

    “But certainly centralized, coercive, decision making is far more elitist by its nature.”

    And you responded:

    Not if it’s what people choose.

    But it’s the way of government that, at best, only a majority of the people choose what is forced by the government. So centralized, coercive, decision making must be more elitist than voluntary, capitalistic decision-making. The least we may say is that government centralized, decision-making engenders elitism.

    It is not elitist to support collective solutions, nor to oppose them. That’s not what the word means.

    You say that, joe, and your working definition of elitism on this thread seems to say that it is an attitude. But I don’t think that that’s consistent your response above: Not (elitism) if it’s what people choose.

    What about this:

    This discussion isn’t about authoritarianism.

    It’s about elitism.

    Two different things.

    But do you deny that, at least, the former engenders the latter.

  140. What could I possibly write that could be more insulting than having Guy Montag agree with you?

    ZING! Took you a while, though. Were you taking your nap? The nurses at the rest home are pretty militant about that, I hear.

  141. Rick,

    Majoritarianism certainly has its faults, but elitism is not among them.

    A system based on the idea that every person’s opinion should be treated as the equal of every other person’s is exactly the opposite of elitism. Elitism is the concept that there are certain people who, for whatever reason, have the right and are more qualified than those around them to wield power.

  142. Actually, I have a job.

  143. But it’s good to see you’re keeping your contributions to the threads as valuable as ever.

  144. joe:

    All elitists point to their natural right to lead. Changing the criteria for determining membership in an elite doesn’t change the fact that you want there to be an elite.

    So some elites use the results and machinations of the democratic process to justify their elitism.

  145. That’s a fine answer from a pragmatic point of view – except for its reality-challenged nature – but since this is a discussion about principles, it doesn’t really provide much enlightenment.

    Ah. So, when I argue that freedom of association should go both ways, you tell me I’m naive; when I argue on a pragmatic basis, you say I should argue based on principle.

  146. Actually, I have a job.

    Somebody pays you to drink boilermakers and post on the internet all day?

  147. Hey! joe! No references to Gigli! Jesus, I’d finally purged my mind of that, ahem, “film”.

    joe, is that your point? Does it matter if the majority acts in oppressive ways rather than some aristocratic class? I just don’t get that line of reasoning–dictatorship by the majority or by General Zod has largely the same result. In practice, too, the people who claim to be acting for the people seem to have an agenda that doesn’t jibe much with the majority’s wishes. Otherwise, how come Americans despise their government–all of it, regardless of the party in control–to such a great extent? They may not be libertarians, but they don’t like most of the people calling the shots.

  148. If you are arguing that management should be able to dictate workplace conditions, and the decision about how they do so and whether they will take into account their workers opinions lies entirely with them, than you are arguing for an elitist system.

    So if I pay a plumber to come to my house and tell him he can’t park on my lawn and he can’t take breaks lying in my bed, that makes me an elitist?

    I mean, you can define the word any way you want, but if you define it that broadly you’re pretty much destroying its usefulness as a word.

  149. So what are you arguing?

    That any system which postulates that some rightfully have power over others, that those people SHOULD have their ideas triumph over those of others by virtue of their rightfully having control over which ideas triumph, can be described as elitist.

    That’s all.

    That pretty much covers it.

    Every system, everywhere, public or private, may be construed to be “elitist.” What a useful contribution to the discourse.

  150. That any system which postulates that some rightfully have power over others, that those people SHOULD have their ideas triumph over those of others by virtue of their rightfully having control over which ideas triumph, can be described as elitist.

    By this criterion, the Roe v Wade abortion on demand regime is elitist as well. A fetus is far more dependent on continued residence in the mother’s body than any employee is on their job.

  151. Episiarch,

    I said that, “Insults are vacuous”

    So you said:

    Blow me

    Kinda funny, huh? More physics?

    I hit your insult cuz I dug most of what Shannon said, but now your subsequent comments have made me wonder what part of what she said you didn’t agree with.

    I gotta admit that your general relativity insult was quite good. It shows that insults can have a separate entertainment value even when they detract from, or ignore, the argument at hand.

    And no hard feelings. Here, enjoy this vid. It kinda fits:

    “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”-Pat Benatar

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4rPIjWqMRc

  152. I gotta admit that your general relativity insult was quite good. It shows that insults can have a separate entertainment value even when they detract from, or ignore, the argument at hand.

    Thanks, entertainment was the point.

    And no hard feelings.

    OK. Hugs?

  153. “A system based on the idea that every person’s opinion should be treated as the equal of every other person’s is exactly the opposite of elitism”

    Which would lead to every radio station playing oldies, every TV station showing American Idol, and every night we’d all have pizza for dinner.

    I think we need a better definition.

  154. OK. Hugs?

    Hugs. Did you dig the vid?

  155. “If you are arguing that management should be able to dictate workplace conditions, and the decision about how they do so and whether they will take into account their workers opinions lies entirely with them, than you are arguing for an elitist system.”

    ??? This pretty much describes the meaning of “management”. Workers are always free to not accept those conditions and look elsewhere. Come to think of it, workers are always free to leave and find employement elsewhere anyway,at any time, and for any reason and there’s nothing that management can do about it.

  156. Did you dig the vid?

    Can’t, I’m at work. But I’ve seen it before anyway.

  157. e?lit?ism or ??lit?ism
    n.
    1. The belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups deserve favored treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority, as in intellect, social status, or financial resources.
    2. The sense of entitlement enjoyed by such a group or class.
    3. Control, rule, or domination by such a group or class.

    Let’s note what this definition contains, and does not contain.

    First, there is nothing in there about the scope of the power or privilege to be enjoyed by the elite. In any system, regardless of how broad or limited the power and privilege are, one can have an elitist belief about how they should be distributed, or an egalitarian belief.

    Second, there is nothing in there about the type of “treatment,” “rule,” “domination,” or “control.” One can have an elitist opinion about government power, about workplace power, about deciding on activities for the Cub Scout group, anything.

    Third, there is nothing in there about the ease with which one may remove one’s self from being subject to that power. If little Johnny and Bobby decide that they get to decide which games the kids should play because their daddies are the richest, they are elitists, even if every other kid in the neighborhood can just not go into their yard to play.

  158. Chris Potter,

    So, when I argue that freedom of association should go both ways, you tell me I’m naive; when I argue on a pragmatic basis, you say I should argue based on principle.

    Actually, what I’m telling you is that your observation is irrelevant to this discussion, which, to remind everyone, is about the nature of elitism.

  159. Pro Libertate,

    joe, is that your point? Does it matter if the majority acts in oppressive ways rather than some aristocratic class?

    No. I have not written a single word about what is good, or bad. I am simply discussion the meaning of the term “elitism.”

    I have stated numerous times already that there are problems that non-elitist systems have.

    I don’t know why so many of you are having so much trouble with this.

  160. joe,

    I’m less interested in the “elitism” discussion and more concerned about your unwillingness to insult Episiarch using physics as your oeuvre.

  161. This discussion isn’t about authoritarianism.

    It’s about elitism.

    joe, my argument was that, in this country, they are one and the same, because we have evolved a fairly insular and self-perpetuating Master Class, such that those who exercise authority are an elite. This fits your definition quite well, thanks.

    I suspect the same is true nearly everywhere. I can’t think of a counter-example off the top of my head.

    Theoretically, I’ll grant that democracy can provide a bulwark against rule by elites by giving teh peepul the ability to turn out the bastards and put sturdy yeomen in their place. It just doesn’t work that way here in the US anymore.

  162. Let’s try that with competent HTML:

    This discussion isn’t about authoritarianism.

    It’s about elitism.

    joe, my argument was that, in this country, they are one and the same, because we have evolved a fairly insular and self-perpetuating Master Class, such that those who exercise authority are an elite. This fits your definition quite well, thanks.

    I suspect the same is true nearly everywhere. I can’t think of a counter-example off the top of my head.

    Theoretically, I’ll grant that democracy can provide a bulwark against rule by elites by giving teh peepul the ability to turn out the bastards and put sturdy yeomen in their place. It just doesn’t work that way here in the US anymore.

  163. “I don’t know why so many of you are having so much trouble with this.”

    What was that about someone being a condescending prick?

  164. There’s one other item that is nowhere to be found in the definition of elitism: a reference to collectivism vs. individualism.

    Someone who believes that each member of the elite should have his own little empire to lord over all by himself, and someone who believes that all of the elitists should get together and lord it over the economy or society as a whole, would both fit the definition of an elitist.

  165. RC,

    You write about we have evolved a fairly insular and self-perpetuating Master Class and It just doesn’t work that way here in the US anymore

    Our first president was the richest man in English North America. Our second president came from a family that already had a town named for them. Our third president, and several that followed him, were wealthy slaveowners. The first son of a president to rise to the presidency did so while veterans of the revolution were still alive. They were all elected by a voting public that excluded people as unfit to have a say in the government if they were black, or female, or not rich enough.

    If you’ve got a complaint about something that “evolved,” something that “doesn’t work that way here anymore,” than your complaint is about something else, not elitism.

  166. Pro Libertate:

    I’m less interested in the “elitism” discussion and more concerned about your unwillingness to insult Episiarch using physics as your oeuvre.

    I’ll profer a few:

    Episiarch’s comments are so ugly that Schroedinger’s cat was dead just knowing they
    existed.

    Episiarch’s ego swelled head is so fat he contradicts a heliocentric solar system.

    Episiarch’s commemts are so mean spirited and ugly, stuff running from them accounts for the acceleration of the expansion of the universe

    Episiarch is so fat his waistline is called the event horizon.

  167. RB,

    That is nt as good as I expected. Droppimg the hammer to check the cat.

  168. Well, except for the event horizon one.

  169. joe | May 7, 2008, 4:30pm | #

    Guy,

    Was it scary for you and your buddies when they filmed Gigli at your school?

    Yet another gem! Keep it up joe and you will have a complete pearl neclace decroating your Winger t-shirt.

  170. Our first president was the richest man in English North America.

    The Lord Fairfax never was appointed or elected to the Presidency of the United States of America.

  171. Well. I googled “physics insults” and only came up with some mildly amusing “yo mama” style statements. A surprisingly unexplored genre. That, or they’re called something else.

  172. PL,

    That makes you the star of the greatest magnitude 😉 In the astronomical sense, of course.

  173. Wire of the largest gauge?

  174. Pro Lib-
    Try “Newtonian opprobrium” and see if you get anything useful.

  175. I’m stumped. All of the ones I can think of, well, suck.

  176. Nothing. Like the void between galaxies. What am I missing?

  177. The Bo?tes void? But that is a little too big to miss.

  178. Then again, areas of nothing can be easily missed.

  179. I used this math one on a PE teacher in HS once:

    Show us how to find the slope of this bat when it’s tangent to your head.

  180. There’s always thermodynamics:

    Talk about dissipation of energy!

  181. Come on, geometry has lots of funnies, like the angle side side triangle.

  182. The Bo?tes void?

    I’m a boomer so I’m used to pronouncing that constellation like the cat’s name as you’d guess instead of BOWOTAZE.

  183. Talk about dissipation of energy!

    Don’t get entropy with me!

  184. A mathematical/sexual lamentation of fat girls:

    The angle of the dangle is proportional to the mass of the ass.

    (Full discloser: I kinda embarrassed to post this cuz I don’t usually do this kinda humor.)

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