Patterico's Pontifications

3/9/2009

Another Candy-Ass RINO Weighs In With His Interpretation

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:01 am

The (formerly!) credible conservative Ace of Spades:

I am honestly telling you that I’ve read Rush’s fuller quote and I *still* think the statement can fairly be read as “I hope Obama fails, and the economy doesn’t recover, because it’s THAT important that liberty be preserved.”

I don’t even think that reading is a “bad” reading — I sure the fuck don’t want this bastard to make socialism popular.

But I come in here saying something fairly small — “Hey, while I get that statement myself, I’m not sure that’s the message you want to be sending when the unemployment rate is 8.1% and climbing” — and I’m read the bleeding riot act.

APOSTATE!

Submitted for your consideration. I know that, for many of you, it’s simply INSANE AND UNTHINKABLE to assert that Rush meant that.

But for many of you, it’s simply INSANE AND UNTHINKABLE to think he meant anything else.

As long as we’re talking interpretation. Which I believe we are.

P.S. Speaking of interpretation, I’m no literary expert, but here’s my theory:

Words should be interpreted the way a reasonable person would interpret them.

It almost sounds like a tautology, but I don’t think it is.

I think this is the only way to communicate effectively. Here’s the key: if you don’t like the way reasonable people are interpreting your words, it’s time to clarify your words. Don’t whine about being misinterpreted.

The key word is “reasonable.” If someone comes along with an unreasonable interpretation of your words, that’s their problem — not yours. Tell them why it’s unreasonable.

Who gets to decide what’s reasonable? That’s what makes it interesting. If we were computers, it would be predictable and boring. But we’re humans, and determining what’s reasonable is — in my view! — where the debate lies. Reasonableness is the touchstone.

I have almost no idea where this theory fits in with literary theories of interpretation. I’ve never discussed this with anyone before. It’s just the way I see the world.

Like Anne Elk, that’s my new theory, which belongs to me, and is as follows . . . and I’m sticking with it.

82 Responses to “Another Candy-Ass RINO Weighs In With His Interpretation”

  1. P.S. I’m pretty sure I just “ceded” something to the enemy. Watch for that word. It’s part of the mantra.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  2. And we refuse to do that!

    Watch for the word “refuse” as well. Also part of the mantra.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  3. Also “framing.” And “narrative.”

    Make the argument without those four words. GO!

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  4. Patterico, who were the guys in “Gulliver’s Travels” who fought a war over which end of an egg to crack?

    Conservatives have FAR more important battles to pitch than this Purity of Essence things that appears to be developing.

    I’m also not impressed by people who put on “tough guy” airs. But that is me. It’s just that “tough people” very easily become intolerant bullies.

    But maybe not in this situation, huh?

    Eric Blair (8d54e0)

  5. Eric, I think there are cults forming. These are difficult economic times, and cults flourish in such times.

    We definitely have the Cult of Limbaugh. The mantra: “I hope he fails.” Adhere to the text or be cast out. One does not question Our Leader, because Our Leader is always right.

    If you disagree you are a Pussy and We Reject You. You are not one of us. Be gone with you!

    By the way, have you heard what Rush said lately? You should really hear what he has to say. If you haven’t heard it, YOU SHOULD HEAR IT. IT WOULD BE WRONG FOR YOU NOT TO HEAR THE MESSAGE.

    Is Rush’s cult the only one developing? It’s an interesting question.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  6. the statement can fairly be read as “I hope Obama fails, and the economy doesn’t recover, because it’s THAT important that liberty be preserved.”

    There’s just one problem with that interpretation. Rush didn’t say anything about the economy failing.

    Here’s what he actually said:

    I know what his plans are, as he has stated them. I don’t want them to succeed.

    Rush made his “I hope Obama fails” comment at a time before Obama was even inaugurated, with the situation in mind that Republicans were saying they they supported Obamas plans. Rush plainly said he wants Obamas plans to fail, as much for a rebuke of unprincipled Republicans as for his opinion of Obamas plans.

    As for Rush being the “leader of the GOP”, in the same transcript, he had this to say:

    Reasons number 249 and 50 why I’m not a Republican. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel has been chosen to introduce Vice-President-elect Biden at a bipartisan dinner in Washington on the eve of the immaculation. Biden was one of Hagel’s closest friends in the Senate. “Bipartisan dinners also held that night honoring McCain and Colin Powell. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina will introduce McCain at a dinner.” So all these Republicans are being honored on the night before Obama is immaculately inaugurated, as though they’re part of the Obama administration. Our presidential candidate is being honored. I can understand liberals honoring their losers, but I just — (tearing up story)

    Rush has never proclaimed himself the leader of the GOP, he is a voice for conservative philosophy, as well as a private businessman. Rather than castigating him for using speech you yourself might not make, you should be battling those who would misrepresent what he clearly said, in the context he said it.

    Rush wanted Obamas plans to fail, because he believed an Obama success would be a failure for America.

    lee (97da21)

  7. Since Ace likes SciFi, here is an interesting take on what is going on:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vi7QQ5pO7_A

    Funny how so many are focusing their fury on people with whom they share quite a bit, politically!

    Eric Blair (8d54e0)

  8. Let’s see if you can be consistent. As for the Republicans who may have publicly stated at some point since Obama won the election that they “hope he succeeds” without any further clarity, shouldn’t we presume that they meant “I hope he succeeds in turning the US into a Marxist country”? Why would you leap to some other interpretation?

    I think it’s pretty insane and unthinkable to interpret wishing Obama “success” as anything other than the well wisher hoping for a communist USA. I think the Republicans who have publicly hoped he succeeds have outted themselves as communists. I believe Ace and Patterico would have to agree with me on that or at least explain why one presumption ( what Limbaugh meant ) is more valid than the presumption about the well wishers.

    j curtis (8eb577)

  9. You are ommiting the fact Limbaugh’s audience has gotten much, much bigger. Bigger than most shows, even very successful ones. By “bigger” is here meant Limbaugh’s increase in audience recently was larger than almost any other talker’s audience is total- while of course Limbaugh started out with a gigantic lead.

    Nordlinger presents evidence this is a good thing via his numerous interactions with Limbaugh’s listeners over the years and also says “As it happens, WFB loved Rush Limbaugh — I know, I was there.”

    It can only be good for more and more millions of people to listen to Rush. Many people won’t like him and find him crude, arrogant, and idiotic.

    But many millions more will become “conservative” because they will have an understanding of what it means, thanks to the Maha Rushie.

    easyliving1 (730ca9)

  10. My comment didn’t show up in the thread although it shows that I recently posted in the “recently posted” sidebar.

    The question is: Why shouldn’t it be presumed that Republicans who have wished Obama success, with no further clarification, are hoping that he “succeeds” at making the US a communist nation?

    j curtis (815bed)

  11. Why is this so forkling difficult?

    I am a capitalist. I believe that capitalism, left mostly alone, will bring the most good to the most people, and will reward behavior and talent and work that causes other people, upon seeing it and its results, to bid for them, which will cause competition for them, which will raise its price and encourage more such behavior.

    I believe that socialism can never cause any long-term betterment in a society’s plight, and in fact is mostly designed as a vehicle to allow for the looting of society by people who would normally otherwise be considered fairly useless.

    I also believe that people forget both of these truths quickly, especially when promised the loot from those on higher economic rungs.

    So – steel yourselves, people – I hope every effort by any and every politician to institute socialism in my country fails. I hope Obama fails in his attempt to make government the replacement for the market, and I understand that, as a practical matter, a lot of peoples’ lives and situations will suck big-time when he does fail, specifically because of his failure. I consider those damaged lives to be the normal and expected price that ends up being paid when so many of us fall for a charlatan. Sadly, though, the price ends up being much higher if the looters actually get their system into place.

    I’m not seeking, as my direct desire, that people – certain people, or specific people, or groups of people – undergo such travails. It would be better, obviously, if this could happen with no pain. However, when I wish for Obama’s failure, I understand that there will be massive pain that cannot be avoided. And still, I want Obama to fail.

    Because it is only when an attempt to institute socialism fails that people (as a crowd, a mob, a society) suddenly remember why it’s bad, and why capitalism is good. And we desperately need to experience one of those mass epiphanies right now.

    So, put me in the corner with Rush. And all you people here who don’t want to pay for the mortgages of the people who over-reached – you must want lower-income home buyers to FAIL!, right? Cold-hearted swine.

    bobby b (4baf73)

  12. Will you hyperverbal “conservative” putzes ever give up on explicating the gibberings of a radio yakker and get on with the business of noticing how Obama is hosing the government and financial system and the contributors to national wealth? And once you’ve done that, start doing something something to stop the disaster?

    Anybody out there with a job in a field that you can’t BS your way through a career in know what I’m talking about?

    Anybody?

    Person of Choler (42851d)

  13. I seem to be having trouble refreshing this page, so I’m trying another comment only for that end. Sorry about this…

    lee (97da21)

  14. Comedy gold Patterico! If I hadn’t read your postings the last couple of years I might think you were truly agonizing over the reactions.
    On a serious note I think you may be getting a taste of how those who believed a President Guiliani or McCain would have been the right person for these times felt when they expressed those opinions. RINO! McShame! Guiliani is for abortion! DemLite! Libtard – go away!

    voiceforeason2 (45ef65)

  15. Comedy gold Patterico! If I hadn’t read your postings the last couple of years I might think you were truly agonizing over the reactions.

    This is where intentionalism and formalism collide.

    The reasonable person must be familiar with all context.

    LET ME SAY THAT IN CAPITAL LETTERS BECAUSE IT WILL BE IGNORED.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  16. Will you hyperverbal “conservative” putzes ever give up on explicating the gibberings of a radio yakker and get on with the business of noticing how Obama is hosing the government and financial system and the contributors to national wealth? And once you’ve done that, start doing something something to stop the disaster?

    Gee. You make me wish I’d written about that.

    What’s that? I have, repeatedly? And you have no idea, because you’re a drive-by commenter on a blog you don’t read — yet you feel qualified to diagnose what’s wrong with it?

    How’s about this? STFU until you understand what’s going on at this blog. How’s that for an idea?

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  17. And again, I’m no expert at literary theory, but can you explain to me:

    If I am to interpret words according to the speaker’s intent, how do I cross-examine a defendant and convict him?

    Because I’m pretty sure his words always mean: “I’m innocent.”

    I know I must be missing something. Just tell me what it is.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  18. You are assuming that words are only a means of communication or, at least, forgetting that they are often weapons to beat the other person over the head with.

    The Mock Turtle (Alice in Wonderland):
    “Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with, and then the different branches of arithmetic — Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.”

    nk (502275)

  19. I do read your stuff and, knowing your talents and assuming the extent of your readership, I wish you would lay off the semantics and lay into Obama directly.

    But I can only wish.

    Person of Choler (42851d)

  20. This infighting is precisely why we’re the St00pid Party.

    rightwingprof (fbb932)

  21. Our friends on the left have been pushing the meme that Rush Limbaugh is the de facto head of the Republican Party, and it seems to me that we are doing everything in our power to help them push that.

    This story should have died days ago, but it’s still living and breathing and, if anything, metasticizing, because nobody is willing to let the other guy have the last freaking word!

    Let this go, just let it go.

    The unamused Dana (3e4784)

  22. We’re about to have at least another day of it, as Goldstein weighs in at Hot Air and Breitbart.tv. Story ain’t going anywhere any time soon.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  23. blah blah blah blah blah

    bored bored bored bored bored

    And now for something different. PLEASE!!!! At this point in the debate all I can see are men with tape recorders up their nose. Between Patterico and Ace it’s in Stereo!

    I don’t comment here much, but I do read. Same at Ace’s place. What is really important (to me anyway) at this juncture in our apparent race to socialism is that the people who do not want socialism to succeed should refuse to eat their own. I don’t much care about interpreting Rush’s words. If you don’t like him, do the capitalist thing and use the OFF switch. Have a different opinion? Exercise your right to free speech. etc…

    I’ll be reading real news over on Cracked and the Onion until this crazyness is over. Hopefully tomorrow.

    Vivian Louise (eeeb3a)

  24. Like the spinning dancer I can interpret Rush’s words either way. Dunno if that is deliberate but if true … It seems UNFAIR to paraphrase the most provocative version in the most provocative way in order to criticize what you CLAIM is bad, unfortunate, and/or immoderate communication when it might in fact be deliberate.

    Clearly Rush has our side discussing whether Obama’s remedies are taking the economy in a social justice direction and whether we are willing to suffer economic hardship long enough to get market remedies instead.

    In that sense KUDOs to everybody for the enthusiasm engaging in Rush’s agenda.

    boris (ecab60)

  25. I am tired of you moles working so hard to destroy our side from the inside.

    Obama’s programs will fail, don’t need to hope for that.

    I do hope he fails to do as much damage as he (and apparently you all) want him to.

    We need to fight the enemy, not each other.

    Larry Sheldon (86b2e1)

  26. I’m with Vivian. I’m getting a hallucinatory experience of a 14th century monastery with the monks debating theology.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  27. The meme may be that Rush is a fat junkie with a big mouth. Capitalism rewards him with big bucks paid by advertisers on his radio show. Of course the evil station owners are biased against Air America and force people not to listen to that or support its advertisers.

    Meanwhile fomer cokehead O’Dumbo ran the Annenberg Challenge and blew upwards of $100 million for no success at all at improving Chicago public schools. Ditto for the various Chicago city housing project scams that rewarded O’Dumbo/ Ear Leader’s thieving pals.

    And now we have a Treasury dept. headed by tax evading criminals who look like a Chinese fire drill. And ALL that stress on Obama, who is very tired already and amazed at all the work that crosses his desk daily. Poor widdle magic negro. Time for another Hawaii vacation?

    Sorry, I think Rush would make a better Potus, or actually a Romney would have a better handle on business practices, but then he’s one of those creepy Mormons whom people vilify. Ditto for vilifying Palin and Jindal to the max. I note that youtube commenters are comparing Palin’s repub. economic explanations to Monty Python’s Cleese’s Theory on Brontosaures.
    Still, who the feck is potus and supposed to be doing the executive branch job with a little competency? Last I heard Rush was elected to nothing and spends NO public tax dollars. Ok, O’Dumbo did make a few million with his masterpiece autobiographies and did raise an enormous amount of campaign cash, much of it illegally. But at least we have a black Abe Lincoln now, with all the attributes of FDR,LBJ, Carter, etc. How come England hasn’t already knighted him like they did Fat Teddy? I know simpleminded twats who already proclaim O! the best POTUS ever. Let’s hope his teleprompter doesn’t break at the wrong time.

    aoibhneas (0c6cfc)

  28. This passage from Limbaugh’s remarks is worth noting, because he directly says Obama’s success will be bad for the country. (emphasis mine)

    Why do we have to accept the premise here that because of the historical nature of his presidency, that we want him to succeed? This is affirmative action, if we do that. We want to promote failure, we want to promote incompetence, we want to stand by and not object to what he’s doing simply because of the color of his skin?

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  29. (Still refuses to remove tophat and smoking jacket and don leather G-string and Jasmine-scented sesame oil.)

    I’m not at all bored. I learned a lot from these debates. There were, mostly, intelligent and insightful comments even when laced with profanity and shouted at the top of the lungs. It’s good to shake things up, challenge preconceptions, and see where your ideas fit among those of your peers.

    nk (502275)

  30. We’re about to have at least another day of it, as Goldstein weighs in at Hot Air and Breitbart.tv. Story ain’t going anywhere any time soon.

    Personally, I don’t think that this is about the story, nor does the story (as such) lie at the bottom of the reason there will be a response. I believe that the nub of this question is nearly eternal. Plato dealt with almost nothing else but this question 2,400 years ago, for crying out loud.

    sdferr (8643ba)

  31. Our esteemed host wrote:

    We’re about to have at least another day of it, as Goldstein weighs in at Hot Air and Breitbart.tv. Story ain’t going anywhere any time soon.

    So? Let him have the last word, then.

    The bored with the subject Dana (3e4784)

  32. It would be a hell of a thing to let Jeff have the last word. Because

    1) It’s a word few people have heard before;
    2) It’s so long few people have the attention span to read it to the end; and
    3) There will be, like, five thousand more words just like it.

    nk (502275)

  33. Vivian Louise…nails it once again!

    Eric Blair (8d54e0)

  34. And, if anybody cares, the reason I’m down on Jeff these days is because I thought he would be the one person who would not like children used to attack their parents, and I turned out to be wrong. I hate being wrong.

    nk (502275)

  35. And I would add one thing, nk:

    4. And Mr. Goldstein will never, ever let it happen any other way, no matter the cost.

    Eric Blair (8d54e0)

  36. Some years after they had executed him, the Athenian assembly voted to erect a small plaque as a gesture to Socrates. It was to read, “Oops, our bad. Sorry, but we were bored at the time and just wanted to get on with it.”

    sdferr (8643ba)

  37. P.S. I’m pretty sure I just “ceded” something to the enemy. Watch for that word. It’s part of the mantra.

    Comment by Patterico — 3/8/2009 @ 11:33 pm

    Would “relinquish”, “surrender”, or “abandon”, be any better? If someone can force you to change how you present your message, what makes you think they won’t use the same tactics with every iteration of that utterance.
    HuffPo posted doctored audio of a John Gibson Show statement, so why you think they’ll ever fairly represent anything Rush Limgaugh, or any conservative for that matter, has to say?

    mossberg500 (392f23)

  38. HuffPo posted doctored audio of a John Gibson Show statement, so why would you think they’ll ever fairly represent anything Rush Limgaugh, or any conservative for that matter, has to say?

    Dang!

    mossberg500 (392f23)

  39. Cries for attention and whining sometimes work, especially when a lot of proxies are involved.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  40. HuffPo posted doctored audio of a John Gibson Show statement, so why you think they’ll ever fairly represent anything Rush Limgaugh, or any conservative for that matter, has to say?

    They do what they do, and we do what we do.

    nk (502275)

  41. They do what they do, and we do what we do.

    Comment by nk — 3/9/2009 @ 9:31 am

    Lose elections?

    mossberg500 (392f23)

  42. Lose elections?

    I was thinkin more along the line of not stopping in on the internet cafe in San Francisco, posting for about half and hour, and then going to the bathroom with the guy in the next chair for a little bit of the down-low.

    nk (502275)

  43. I was thinkin more along the line of not stopping in on the internet cafe in San Francisco, posting for about half and hour, and then going to the bathroom with the guy in the next chair for a little bit of the down-low.

    Comment by nk — 3/9/2009 @ 9:51 am

    Wow! Thanks for the clarification. I would never have guessed that’s what you meant.

    mossberg500 (392f23)

  44. Cults are forming?

    I just want to make it clear that nobody owns me. I’m not planning on buying a smoking jacket or assless chaps. If somebody’s talking serious coin, though, all bets are off.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  45. daley…Not For Sale, but Rentals & Leases considered.

    AD - RtR/OS (8ef6a3)

  46. “Wow! Thanks for the clarification. I would never have guessed that’s what you meant.”

    - mossberg500

    And that seems to be Patterico’s whole point (or at least a good chunk of it): authorial intent is unreliable as a means of interpretation. For all any of us know (strictly considering authorial intent), what Limbaugh meant by “I hope he fails” could’ve been “Man, I wish I were in a San Francisco internet cafe bathroom stall demonstrating the finer points of a Wide Stance, with our new president sitting on my lap and lamenting the fact that he can’t get it up.”

    But context – sweet, sweet context – wouldn’t seem to indicate that.

    Heh. This is weird.

    Leviticus (43095b)

  47. Although I realize now that you (mossberg500) probably already knew that, and were making a rhetorical point with #43. Silly me. Forgive my pretensions.

    Leviticus (43095b)

  48. [...] in response to the linguistic aspect of my arguments, has offered his own idea about how interpretation should work, namely, that “words should be interpreted the way a reasonable person would interpret [...]

    The Pragmatism of Idealism (or , how I learned to stop worrying and love the f bomb). (7a2640)

  49. Boris asked whether we are willing to suffer economic hardship long enough to get market remedies.

    As the girlfriend said in “My Cousin Vinnie,” that is an unfair question. It presupposes that market remedies will take longer than remedies based on some concept of “social justice.”

    Pray tell where in the economic history of this world has that ever happened.

    “Social Justice” claims to “spread the wealth” but, in practice, can only “spread the misery.”

    For what it is worth, the two people of the two waring countries in “Travels” were called “Bigendians” and “Littlendians.”

    Longwalker (4e0dda)

  50. Boris asked whether we are willing to suffer economic hardship long enough to get market remedies … OR … surrender to short term promises of being taken care of by Nanny Obama.

    boris (ecab60)

  51. Ace seems to be saying … a social justice economy is better than what we have now so if you hold out for a market fix you impose suffering.

    boris (ecab60)

  52. What makes anyone think that Obama’s plan has anything to do with the economy recovering?

    For all I know, he wants the economy to fall much further, so that he can rebuild it from scratch without all this private property, free enterprise nonsense.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  53. authorial intent is unreliable as a means of interpretation.

    uh huh.

    You’re a fan of a “living Constitution”, I take it?

    lee (f6fa25)

  54. For what it is worth, the two people of the two waring countries in “Travels” were called “Bigendians” and “Littlendians.”

    Ha! Computer science terminology used humorously in literature. Will wonders never cease…

    h2u (81b7bd)

  55. Although, to be clear, it would actually be humorous literature being utilized by computer science.

    h2u (81b7bd)

  56. If I am to interpret words according to the speaker’s intent, how do I cross-examine a defendant and convict him?

    Because I’m pretty sure his words always mean: “I’m innocent.”

    I know I must be missing something. Just tell me what it is.

    The “intent” of a guilty defendant is to deceive you.

    See how important it is to divine the authors intent?

    lee (f6fa25)

  57. [...] in response to the linguistic aspect of my arguments, has offered his own idea about how interpretation should work, namely, that “words should be interpreted the way a reasonable person would interpret [...]

    Hot Air » Blog Archive » How I learned to stop worrying and love the f-bomb (e2f069)

  58. I notice Liberal posters from across the country are all using the term, “Comedy Gold”, in their derision of other’s arguments. Must be on their talking points.

    PCD (ed31e3)

  59. #53 The cure for a “living Constitution” is to look at the “plain meaning” of the words at the time they were written. It does not mean to attempt to discern what Gouverneur Morris meant when he put to parchment the wishes of the Convention.

    Plain meaning of the words is exactly what Patterico desires to use as his standard. His terminology might be different, but any reasonable person would interpret his plain meaning to be the same.

    Christian (abaa8f)

  60. #58 and here I thought comedy gold was Isla Fischer’s molestation of Vince Vaughn on the porcelain throne in THE WEDDING CRASHERS.

    Christian (abaa8f)

  61. Unlike some, I don’t find this debate boring or useless. I think it’s great that intelligent, articulate people like Patterico and Jeff G. are concerned enough about conservatism that they want to spend their spare time discussing what’s best for the Republican Party.

    American conservatism is in limbo until the November 2010 Congressional elections. We can try to impact national politics and government but we aren’t going to have much success with a Democratic President and Congress. However, this is a good time to rebuild the GOP by encouraging good candidates to run, fundraising, and debating what we believe. The last thing we should want is to send a message that conservatives agree on every issue. Thus, debates like this are not only a way to clarify and spread the message of what conservatives believe, they are also a chance to show we can work together even when we don’t agree.

    To an extent, these discussions help keep the focus on the Obama-Limbaugh story — something the Obama White House apparently wants — but it also appears this story may have significantly increased the number of people that listen to Rush Limbaugh’s show. Limbaugh is an entertaining and persuasive conservative voice. The more people that listen to him, the greater the chance that they will consider the conservative point of view. At this point in the election cycle, that may be better for the GOP than for Democrats.

    Anon (eb4fed)

  62. Closer to the topic. Ogden Nash also took a literalist view of language, which is kind of unusual for a poet. In any case, I think this poem is funny. And I do not take it literally.

    Very Like a Whale
    One thing that literature would be greatly the better for
    Would be a more restricted employment by the authors of simile and
    metaphor.
    Authors of all races, be they Greeks, Romans, Teutons or Celts,
    Can’t seem just to say that anything is the thing it is but have to
    go out of their way to say that it is like something else.
    What does it mean when we are told
    That that Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold?
    In the first place, George Gordon Byron had enough experience
    To know that it probably wasn’t just one Assyrian, it was a lot of
    Assyrians.
    However, as too many arguments are apt to induce apoplexy and
    thus hinder longevity.
    We’ll let it pass as one Assyrian for the sake of brevity.
    Now then, this particular Assyrian, the one whose cohorts were
    gleaming in purple and gold,
    Just what does the poet mean when he says he came down like a
    wold on the fold?
    In heaven and earth more than is dreamed of in our philosophy
    there are great many things.
    But I don’t imagine that among them there is a wolf with purple
    and gold cohorts or purple and gold anythings.
    No, no, Lord Byron, before I’ll believe that this Assyrian was
    actually like a wolf I must have some kind of proof;
    Did he run on all fours and did he have a hairy tail and a big red
    mouth and big white teeth and did he say Woof Woof?
    Frankly I think it is very unlikely, and all you were entitled to say,
    at the very most,
    Was that the Assyrian cohorts came down like a lot of Assyrian
    cohorts about to destroy the Hebrew host.
    But that wasn’t fancy enough for Lord Byron, oh dear me no, he
    had to invent a lot of figures of speech and then interpolate them,
    With the result that whenever you mention Old Testament soldiers
    to people they say Oh yes, they’re the ones that a lot of
    wolves dressed up in gold and purple ate them.
    That’s the kind of thing that’s being done all the time by poets,
    from Homer to Tennyson;
    They’re always comparing ladies to lilies and veal to venison,
    And they always say things like that the snow is a white blanket
    after a winter storm.
    Oh it is, is it, all right then, you sleep under a six-inch blanket of
    snow and I’ll sleep under a half-inch blanket of unpoetical
    blanket material and we’ll see which one keeps warm,
    And after that maybe you’ll begin to comprehend dimly
    What I mean by too much metaphor and simile.

    nk (502275)

  63. And, if anybody cares, the reason I’m down on Jeff these days is because I thought he would be the one person who would not like children used to attack their parents, and I turned out to be wrong. I hate being wrong.

    When did I do such a thing?

    Jeff G (5ccfaa)

  64. I missed that. What is that supposed to mean?

    JD (5ffaf3)

  65. Jeff #64,

    You did not “do” it. Your guest host and commenters did. In this post.

    nk (502275)

  66. Why are we being inundated with more Nadya Suleman stories? Why? Now she has a video blog to feed us with more of her craziness. Whhhhyyyy? She is getting more than her 15 minutes of fame. Please someone, make them stop. pleeeeeeezzz! (Am about to lose my mind..)

    Emperor7 who now sees the light. (1b037c)

  67. In the above video, is Anne Elk discussing the brontosauruses, or Rush…

    “thin at one end, much, much thicker in the middle, and then thin again at the far end.”

    biscuiteater (9cbc67)

  68. When given the choice between craven capitulation or ceded, I’d have to recommend you go with the latter.

    I decided to listen to Rush today for a few minutes while driving between appointments to hear what was up. For some reason I thought about the “deranged” remark Rush slipped into his CPAC filibuster (note to self… never invite a guy who talks every day for three hours to give a speech that is supposed to last 1/2 hour…)

    For whatever reason, at the time of the remark and in the context of “tweaking liberals”, I saw it as a dig at Garofalo (sp?) Maher and the others on the left who put on pseudo-intellectual airs and then sit around comparing notes on the various “scientific” studies out there that show conservatives are the retards of evolution (as in we retard evolution) and/or have a portion of our brains that glows a cold dull green with inactivity where the liberal brain glows bright yellow proving again that conservatives are at the least, defective.
    So I saw it as a bit of jousting, nothing more.

    But that stuff is inside baseball and needs to be left off of the stage in a truly national setting.
    So I concede self regulation is good…. (god that was hard…. breathe…)

    I also think the problem we are having points at a deep vacuum of leadership.
    No one out there on the conservative side was deft enough, or powerful enough to turn the criticisms of Rush aside, or to turn them back around onto the questioners.
    “He doesn’t speak for me” isn’t leadership.
    Being a Rush apologisist isn’t leadership.

    Let me get it out on the table.
    (I’ll speak only for myself so no feels the need to repudiate me)

    I think a little failure is a good thing
    I want the American people to suffer as little as possible while we take the time to get this right.
    I want bad ideas to fail quickly and good ideas to prosper quickly and/or over time.
    If I think something is a bad idea, I will want it to fail quickly and I will hold that idea to the fire (if you give me more than a weekend to review ideas that cost $3T that is….) but don’t ever ever ever dare paint testing ideas for failure as “sabotage” or paint me as unpatriotic for hoping bad ideas fail.
    That said, moving towards socialism is a bad idea.
    Spending $3T and justifying it by saying spending=stimulus and stimulus=spending is a bad idea and intellectually dishonest.
    Spending $3T and then saying “you can’t stop this now, it’s too big to let fail..” is beyond being merely a bad idea and intellectually dishonest. It’s crazy.
    Telling me the bill is targeted, focused and transparent before anyone has read it through once, much less digested it is a lie. The disingenuousness surrounding the spending package tells me we should fail the bill until we can take our time, cut the waste out of the spending/stimulus, put in some metrics, add more where it works and cut where it doesn’t.
    Using my principled opposition against me and to paint me as an American who wants others to suffer needlessly is an affront.

    As contrary as it may sound after all that, I am willing to support Obama’s work going forward from here if it does not exclude my core values… but I can only conclude that so far Obama does not care to have my support. If he did want my support on for example the spending spree, he’d have given me at least a week to look at it, then he’d have gone “line by line” and shown good faith in negotiating changes and adjustments.
    Instead, Obama, his staff and the Democratic Congress acted imperiously, impulsively, and in a manner that is imprudent for future generations.
    I don’t support that.
    I do not want to enable this type of administration of resources because I think it will prove destructive.
    I am committed to helping individual Americans whom are suffering through this transition to responsibility by giving donations to local charity organizations.
    I’ll start with what should be a no brainer and ask Obama to restore the full deduction for charitable contributions as a first step.

    SteveG (a87dae)

  69. I haven’t read the post or the comments, so it’s probably a little bit unfair to suggest that I like children used to attack their parents.

    I clearly don’t. And, believe it or not, I don’t read every post and thread on my site. Who has time?

    But I’ll look into it. I see a link to Red State, but again, that’s not me.

    Jeff G (5ccfaa)

  70. My royalty check’s in the mail, I take it?

    SEK (072055)

  71. You did not “do” it. Your guest host and commenters did.

    Dick Durbin is not the parent of Sasha and Malia. But still, that’s a horrific link that exactly no one commented on until you did.

    Pablo (99243e)

  72. Okay, I two people support Moe Lane, and I think it had more to do with your attacking Moe Lane than it did with any strong conviction on their part.

    Before you commented, nobody had said boo about the link or story (which I confess I still haven’t read).

    Jeff G (5ccfaa)

  73. I haven’t read the post or the comments, so it’s probably a little bit unfair to suggest that I like children used to attack their parents.

    Fair enough. Your comment, I mean. I did write “I thought he would be the one person who would not like children used to attack their parents”. The literal opposite of “not like” is “like”. It is, isn’t it? If I had meant “tolerate”, “permit” or “allow”, as I did mean, I should have written “tolerate”, “permit” or “allow”.

    But still, that’s a horrific link that exactly no one commented on until you did.

    Duhhh! I thought that’s what I said, Pablo.

    nk (502275)

  74. Isn’t Rush, in one of his books, the one that spends a whole chapter explaining how WORDS MEAN THINGS?

    Scott B (a45cf8)

  75. Patterico, you feel free to tell everybody you meet that you hope Obama does not fail.

    Then you can also demand that the GOP in Congress helps him to succeed. Because after all, you don’t want him to fail.

    Subotai (4442ee)

  76. “Hey, while I get that statement myself, I’m not sure that’s the message you want to be sending when the unemployment rate is 8.1% and climbing”

    I can accept the argument that Limbaugh’s often glib approach to political commentary might not be too wise from a propagandistic or tactical standpoint, particularly if growing numbers of Americans are becoming snared (and trapped) in a “mommy, mommy, I’m scared! Help me, help me!” mentality, which generally leads to a truly foolish type of liberalism.

    Moreover, a “mommy, mommy, help me!” mindset and mood are readily encouraged by a pro-liberal, pro-touchy-feely, pro-do-gooder philosophy long pervasive throughout the media and large portions of popular culture. A philosophy that’s most prominent and promoted even during the best of times.

    Another thing: opinion surveys for the past few years have reflected increasingly larger numbers of Americans saying they’re uneasy and unhappy about various trends in the country, even when statistics and general trends still were pretty good. That made me suspect too many people in the country had become or were becoming a variation of the ungrateful bratty teenager, so spoiled that even a minor bit of discipline (“my curfew now is midnight!”) or challenge (“I’ve just got a driver’s license, but my folks won’t buy a car for me!!”) will set them off.

    Well, now that statistics and general trends seem to be sour enough to justify such a gloomy reaction on the part of many people — many who chose Obama as their Hope and Savior — the saying of the day is: Be careful what you wish for, you may get it.

    Mark (411533)

  77. [...] okay: As usual, I do think that Jeff is more correct on this issue than Patterico and Ace are (except for Ace’s “let’s move on” moments, which appear to be [...]

    It’s the Attorneys versus the Academicians! | Little Miss Attila (62389c)

  78. nk,

    Duhhh! I thought that’s what I said, Pablo.

    See, I should have used the sarcasm tag, or at least some italics on the word horrific. Oh Lord!

    Pablo (99243e)

  79. My fault. Sarcasm tag or not the scent of Jasmine should have given me a clue.

    nk (31b2d3)

  80. what’s that about socialism?? i hope obama is not going to fail in improving the disastrous health-system or does anybody wanna suffer from cancer and become a poor pilgarlic, because you cant cover the insurance like most americans cant?
    okay, talking about the economic crisis its the fault and the consequence of many factors, like the globalization and its cruel way of taking benefit of everything and everyone. Consider the american folks with their open credits and loans, borrowing money from the bank in order to keep their status. We’ll soon realize, this is the century of renouncement.

    Flug Bangkok (bf6e67)

  81. [...] called him on those, with links and using his own words and mine — he works tirelessly to gradually backtrack and reshape his argument so that it comes more into line with what he gauges the winning argument [...]

    In response to a public lynching: Patrick Frey has no honor. In my opinion. Which qualifier, like, saves me from a libel suit I think [updated to include linked "annotations"] (7a2640)


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