Patterico's Pontifications

5/29/2015

In Which I Defend Charles C.W. Cooke Against Ace in the “Using Their Tactics Against Them” Debate

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:54 am

Yesterday it was revealed that Bernie Sanders (a nobody socialist running for President) published a weird piece in 1972 in which he spoke of men’s fantasies about abusing women, and women’s supposed fantasies about being raped.

More interesting than Sanders’s bizarre writing is the reaction in conservative circles, namely: whether we should try to make a huge thing out of this as a tool to punish leftists for their wrongdoings? This is simply a variant of the evergreen “should we use their tactics against them?” question. If I were to run a poll asking “Should we use leftists’ tactics against them?” I am guessing the “yes” tally would run upward of 90%, so let’s turn the microphone over to Charles C.W. Cooke for a contrary view:

A society in which people are drummed out of politics for words they wrote 43 years ago is an ugly society indeed. Sometimes the best way to address hypocrisy is to take the high road. This is America: land of second chances. This is a place of redemption and of reinvention and of continual learning. Nobody honestly believes that Bernie Sanders is a sexual pervert or that he is a misogynist or that he intends to do women any harm. Nobody suspects that he harbors a secret desire to pass intrusive legislation or to cut gang rapists a break. Really, there is only one reason that anyone would make hay of this story, and that is to damage the man politically. Perhaps I’m old-fashioned. Perhaps I’m hopelessly idealistic. But until I see any sign of actual wrongdoing I’d much prefer to slam Sanders for his dangerous and ridiculous politics than to delve back into his past and embarrass him with a long-forgotten opinion. I certainly hope that my fellow conservatives will feel the same way, even if they do not enjoy the same courtesy from their adversaries.

In the other corner we have Ace articulating the more traditional “punch back twice as hard” position:

Charles C.W. Cooke says that we should not unduly persecute Bernie Sanders for his sexual heresies, so you have some idea of the perverted antiques roadshow Cooke has going on in his bedroom.

You know how it is with British men. The bizzare seeds planted in boarding school sprout wicked fruit throughout their lives.

Cooke is arguing for what he conceives of as free speech absolutism — one does not demagogue speech to whip up feeding frenzies of angry lynch mobbers about something merely said.

I agree with this, naturally, except that I don’t. As a tactical matter, there is no way to get the left to stop with its incessant Censorship Crusades except to visit equal pain upon them.

Ace goes on to describe the well-known experiments in which two people face off and can be honest or cheat. Instantly punishing the cheater by cheating — “tit for tat” — is the most effective system for preventing cheating.

My (I suspect very unpopular) instinct lies with Cooke — mainly because Ace’s argument seems to be, not that Sanders’s speech is actually objectionable, but that we should pretend it is, to punish the other side.

Rather than hyperfocusing on this one specific incident, though, I thought it might be interesting to discuss the broad outlines of when it is appropriate to “use the other side’s tactics against them.” I’m going to suggest that it’s a fact-specific question. While I can’t resolve it in one blog post with clear, understandable rules on which everyone will agree, hopefully I can articulate a couple of reasons to be wary about falling for the trap of using this principle as a justification for bad behavior.

Let me begin by stating that there are obviously times when it’s right to treat a person worse because of his own behavior. For example, take a hypothetical criminal — we’ll call him “Brett Kimberlin.” If Kimberlin sets off several bombs and maims someone in the process, it is right for duly authorized officials to lock Brett Kimberlin in a cage for a long time, assuming proper legal procedures have been followed. Whereas it is not right for someone to randomly lock an innocent person in a cage for years. In this example, Kimberlin’s own behavior affects how he should be treated.

To take a more mundane example, it would be fabulous behavior on my part if I could take the time to respectfully reply at length to the argument of every commenter, no matter how rude they are. But if someone comes on this blog and says “PATTERICO IS A RACIST!!!!1!!eleventy!1″ I am not likely to be inclined to patiently spend a lot of time refuting them and presenting counterarguments. I’ll just mock and ban them. Again, their behavior has affected how I treat them, and properly so.

In other words, deciding that you are going to engage in your own standards of conduct, and not let others dictate your behavior for you, does not mean that you must allow bad behavior to go unpunished, or that you cannot engage in self-defense or reasonable, measured defense of others.

But there are times when I think most people would agree that it’s not necessarily justified to do to the other guy what he did to you. For example, when the Crips shoot a Blood, the Crips are often upset that the Bloods previously shot a Crip. When the Bloods shoot a Crip, they are often upset that the Crips previously shot a Blood. Most people are not inclined to justify such shootings as “punching back twice as hard.”

Having defined cases on each side which are obvious, but remembering that this is a blog and 1) your attention span is limited and 2) I have to get to work, let me say that I can’t solve all the harder cases in between. So let me finish by pointing out a couple of problems that don’t invalidate the “use their tactics against them” principle in every case — but are reasons that you should be wary of relying on that principle too easily.

First: people love to use the “use their tactics against them” principle to justify bad behavior that feels good. It’s fun to jump up and down and point at the personal foibles of the guy on the other side, and if you can justify by saying “this is what they do!” then you can engage in all kinds of nasty behavior and claim you have a clear conscience. But everybody does this. “The left” says they do it to you because you did it to them. Every bad guy in history has some paper-thin rationalization for why he did horrible things, and it always has to do with getting back at the other guy for what he did first. “He did it first!” is not generally a convincing argument for what you know is bad behavior.

Second: too often, the “use their tactics against them” principle is applied to other members of a group, with the group being more and more generally defined. Crips may not shoot the Blood who shot the Crip last week. They’ll just pick any Blood, or maybe even a random innocent person in Blood territory, and justify it by saying, hey, they’re a Blood. In politics, both sides simply slap a label on a group (“the left” or “the right”) and use that to justify using nasty tactics to make a member of that group miserable, whether that person personally merits it or not.

Did Bernie Sanders make a big deal out of, say, Todd Akin’s “real rape” statements? If so, give him hell. But nobody’s really asking the question. It’s good enough that “the left” did it — so let’s punish “the left” by blowing up the Sanders story.

Getting back to Sanders: if there are people who made a huge issue of odd Republican statements about sex/rape in the past, ask those people how they feel about Bernie Sanders. Watch them squirm. I’m good with that.

But be careful. Don’t engage in tactics that you know are wrong simply because someone else did it first. And make sure that anyone you punish truly personally deserves it.

You set your own standards of morality. Don’t let the other side set them for you.

183 Responses to “In Which I Defend Charles C.W. Cooke Against Ace in the “Using Their Tactics Against Them” Debate”

  1. The high road didn’t help W as he was falsely accused of lying to get approval for the gulf war. In fact, the high road and ignoring the attacks led to more vicious attacks. After 6 years of relentless, baseless, vicious attacks, the dems were able to get W’s approval rating down from the mid 80’s, post 911, to the teens which opened the door for a no(know)-nothing like obama to get elected.

    We have carl rove to thank for that brilliant strategy. Why anyone would listen to him now, I don’t know. But, it may say much about the stupidity of the republican establishment that anyone does.

    You need to take a gun to the knife fight. You know the dems do.

    Jim (a9b7c7)

  2. this is a lot like the Josh Duggar conversation and very likely a lot like what the Hastert conversation is going to turn into

    i’m agnostic

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  3. There is something inherently visceral about politics that makes it the appropriate modern version of holmgang. I do not think that it is more or less than a way of deciding how things are going to work in society, and as such the Bloods vs. Crips analogy breaks down. This is not a turf war per se, but rather a battle of ideas, which has no physical ‘turf’ to battle over, but, rather, territory of the public consciousness.

    Instead of the gang war analogy, one can make it a warring nation analogy. Our ‘side’ and their ‘side’ are as drawn up in battle lines similar any medieval fight. Some may die to slings and arrows (heh!) and return fire is just as random. The leaders, and don’t kid yourself, Bernie Sanders is as much a candidate-leader as Santorum is, are fair game. Your chivalrous treatment of old writings, while admirable, is not going to stop anyone from quoting crap that happened in the back story of any conservative candidate that the press gets its troops to attack. And if they can’t find something in the past, they will just make sh!t up.

    So Counselor, on a more personal note, your well written essay seems to be rather divorced from reality and less than workable. To be honest, it sounds a lot like what the world wants from Israel. “Don’t fight back against those attacking with improvised weapons, because you have all those modern armaments and always seem to win.”

    MunDane (a48cc0)

  4. I’m with Patterico on this one. Follow Remy’s path and mock Sanders on his idiotic policy and general ignorance. Don’t go for something from 50 years ago.

    JWB (52a414)

  5. I wrote that really fast. If there are mistakes or thoughts that trail off, that’s why.

    I fully expect most comments to be instant reactions of the “you gotta punch back twice as hard” variety but it would be thrilling if one or two people actually grappled with the points I made in bold, in a way that reflects thoughtful consideration rather than reflexive dismissal.

    I have more to say on this but ran out of time and space this morning.

    Patterico (6879ca)

  6. In short, sometimes you do have to punch back twice as hard. But a) don’t do it for fun, and b) punch the right people, i.e. those who punched you. Don’t be a bully using this as an excuse.

    Patterico (6879ca)

  7. Greetings:

    But, by all means, let’s not throw Mohummed and his Koran into this mix.

    11B40 (0f96be)

  8. You’re completely right, but not only that, it’s dumb. You’re just doing Hillary’s dirty work if you go along with this.

    (Yes, yes, I know; you’ll place the comment in “moderation” as opposed to censorship. lol)

    Anyway, I’m surprised you didn’t think of this for your post.

    Christoph Dollis (f9e702)

  9. …But be careful. Don’t engage in tactics that you know are wrong simply because someone else did it first. And make sure that anyone you punish truly personally deserves it.

    You set your own standards of morality. Don’t let the other side set them for you.

    Sorry, Pat, but the principle of reprisal is well established in the Law Of Armed Conflict. When one side in a conflict refuses to abide by the principles of the LOAC (military necessity, distinction, and proportionality) then the other side is permitted to conduct reprisals to enforce LOAC rules. These are acts that would otherwise be illegal but for the prior unlawful acts of the enemy.

    The bottom line is that in cases that aren’t going to see the inside of a courtroom then you have to make it painful for the side that refuses to play by the rules. And political hit men don’t play by the rules, and these conflicts will never see the inside of a courtroom.

    It is irrational to expect political hit men (i.e. the entire Democratic media industrial complex) to play by the rules merely by setting a good example. Just as in war, you have to make it painful for them. There is nothing immoral about reprisals. In fact, it’s immoral not to conduct them if you value if in warfare the reasons why the LOAC exists; to minimize civilian suffering. Or in politics, fair play. Which also needs to be enforced to minimize “civilian suffering.” In other words, the suffering of the non-political class. Which is best seen in places like Baltimore these days.

    We’re playing half court, while the other side is playing full court ball. That’s not smart. And it is not moral. The libs are allowed to score because we can’t defend our hoop, which is at the other end of the court.

    Steve57 (4f6474)

  10. Patterico’s argument only works if the other side can be shamed. The left has no shame, so P’s argument fails.

    I personally have taken the tactics of the left and have applied them to leftist organizations. For example, if you use Yahoo mail, you can mark ads as “offensive”. Whether they are or not, I mark them as such. It has measurable cut down on the number of ads I see, and probably deprives them of revenues. Because the left gets offended by everything, I am simply using their rubric against them. And I see fewer ads for my trouble.

    On, and BTW, I liked how you “went there” with your example of some thug named “Kimberlin”. Nice touch.

    Darth Chocolate (e63bb7)

  11. Ask Romney how that worked out. “Binders of women” and a dog on a rooftop seem to ring a bell.

    Ask Perry how a rock on his family property was treated.

    Ask the Russians how their scorched earth policy against the Nazis worked.

    njrob (e821d6)

  12. Off the Sanders topic, but sticking with Ace’s comments on Cooke…

    … so you have some idea of the perverted antiques roadshow Cooke has going on in his bedroom.
    You know how it is with British men. The bizzare seeds planted in boarding school sprout wicked fruit throughout their lives.

    Cooke has been on several Ace of Spades’s podcasts this year and these sentences fit in with the razzing he gets because of some English customs.

    More on topic, I agree with Pat to fight back, but keep it focused.

    John Pomeroy (94c76a)

  13. Ask about Gamergate, Sad Puppies, Rabid Oubbies, micro aggressions, safe spaces, racism, cops in black neighborhoods, and on and on.

    There’s a reason Ace has a black flag on his site. There’s a reason why the phrase “give the people what they want and give it to them good and hard” exists.

    Lessons must be taught. Without the willingness to use nukes, they aren’t a deterrent. M.A.D. must exist otherwise the other side will act with impunity.

    njrob (e821d6)

  14. When you focus, you only hit one target. When you use a shotgun, you inflict more damage to more targets.

    Darth Chocolate (e63bb7)

  15. Let’s say for the sake of discussion that Sanders’ early musings on fantasies are completly irrelevant to the issues of today. Should we thus treat them as the left treated similarly irrelevant issues in the backgrounds of republicans? I figure, why not?

    Richard Aubrey (f6d8de)

  16. Tit for tat assumes an enemy that can learn. As in the Crips vs Bloods example, we have two sides that refuse to learn. Therefore the only solution is all out ear for territory to destroy the other side.

    Obviously, in our case, communists/socialist/liberals refuse to learn and will use any weapon. Conservatives/republicans/libertarians must do the same. To do otherwise is to surrender. We know that like Terminator robots, they absolutely will not stop until they reach their objective.

    luagha (4d9a30)

  17. The hypocrisy here is utterly transparent.
    “Their tactics”….???
    The tactics you refer to are the tactics of political operatives, period.
    Including all of you.

    You want to play the “Imagine if….” game?

    Imagine if Barack Obama had written this. What would Charles Cooke say then? What would Patterico say?

    You want to lay off of Sanders for two reasons. One – so that he stays in the race to cause Hillary as much trouble as he can. And two, so that he stays around to provide a buffer against future sex-related scandals from the GOP. We treat Sanders decently, so you have to treat our miscreants better.

    You only fool yourselves with this pretend-moralizing. As usual.

    Ltaz (a07cea)

  18. “use their tactics against them”

    that’s not really what this is about I don’t think Mr. Patterico… it’s more about this…

    “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  19. Sanders is a fringe candidate, and his presence only serves to make $Hillary appear to be a reasonable choice.

    Scorched earth it is.

    Darth Chocolate (e63bb7)

  20. Bernie’s a Democrat candidate for President, it’s entirely legitimate to ask Hillary if his published fantasies disqualify him for consideration as a running mate.

    ropelight (b80664)

  21. Sander’s stands no chance but if we can use him to harm Hillary!, or any democrat I say “Let’s Roll”.

    Hoagie (f4eb27)

  22. Weekend at Bernie’s” takes on a whole new perspective.

    Lorem Ipsum (cee048)

  23. You need to take a gun to the knife fight. You know the dems do.

    I think it may have been Hackworth who said, “If you find yourself in a fair fight, you have not done a good job of planning.”

    Mike K (504df3)

  24. “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

    – Matthew 16:26

    It’s worth asking, from time to time, why we care about politics and parties – and what we are trying to do when we interact in that context. People love a good fight, and it’s very very easy to get vested in politics for its own sake, forgetting that the purpose of involvement in politics is supposed to be the creation (or at least promotion) of a world worth living in.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  25. Having read Sanders’ essay, I am at a complete loss about how people are actually pretending like this is something he should say sorry about. It is basically just a bad essay, written about gender norms, which he critiques. This is absolutely nothing like Todd Akin, in which he actually held certain beliefs (right or wrong, I’m not commenting on that here).

    This is basically like that “You didn’t build that” non-sense. It is so impressive how widely disseminated these sort of memes can get, when there are literally just out-of-contexts snippets of an entirely different message.

    Blder (4b959a)

  26. I’ve given up on winning in politics. I will always lose in politics – and so will you guys! We aren’t rich or powerful enough to matter to politics.

    So, with that in mind, I will focus on mattering to people on my own plebeian level.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  27. ==the purpose of involvement in politics is supposed to be the creation (or at least promotion) of a world worth living in.==

    Really? Ever read Machiavelli? Politics is about power. And money. Always has been. From condo boards to the presidency.

    elissa (46943a)

  28. Liberals, and Democrats, play politics as blood sport. Conservatives and Republicans try to play by Marquis of Queensbury rules. Liberals punch back twice as hard in every case, in every sense…without regard for the niceties of doing it for the ‘right’ reasons. Perry’s rock…W’s national guard service, and decades old DWI. Romney’s behavior in college. Democrats took all of that, and more, and ran with it, using their media mouthpieces to make sure they had legs.

    Being an ‘esteemed colleague’ loses elections for Republicans. Alinsky was right: pick the target, and freeze it. Then, mock the daylights out of it, too, as liberals hate when they aren’t taken seriously.

    Bob C (bfa035)

  29. The left would never extend the same compassion or restraint if a conservative had written this, and criticizing what Sanders said doesn’t bother me. Part of being a politician is answering for past statements. However, I agree not everyone has to agree where they would draw the line. We can also bemoan the sad state of political morality but part of politics is going negative at times, unless we want to lose.

    It reminds me of the free speech argument. Not everyone agrees with Pam Geller when it comes to free speech, and many people objected that her actions were not moral or in poor taste. We each decide for ourselves the lengths we are willing to go.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  30. Sheesh, and I’m the cynical one?

    Seriously, I know where you’re coming from – and have kind of said the same thing in my previous two comments (re: politics, power, and money). But there’s a difference between observing a paradigm and endorsing it. The Machiavellian paradigm is not one that turns out well for the little people (like us), so I reject it in favor of something a little more communitarian. If I’m gonna get squashed, I’m gonna do it on my own terms.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  31. I agree with what was written with one addition:

    Here you say

    “Did Bernie Sanders make a big deal out of, say, Todd Akin’s “real rape” statements? If so, give him hell. But nobody’s really asking the question. It’s good enough that “the left” did it — so let’s punish “the left” by blowing up the Sanders story.”

    I would add to this, any reporters/bloggers/writers etc on the left who castigated the entire republican party about what Akin said and are either (1) silent on the bernie question or (2) outright come out and say its not a bad thing, need to be reminded incessantly about what they themselves wrote/said/published etc only 3 years ago.

    Jeffrey (2eddb6)

  32. well if they can go after Bill Cosby for the last 50 years on no evidence, what has been his behavior, the California pol, Filner, wasn’t it,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  33. I find it highly suspect that this has been out there since the 70s and Mother Jones just trots it out now.

    There is so much else to write about but the Right leaning media cannot resist the allure of rushing in there to probably do the Hillary campaign’s dirty work.

    Algonquin (48fb95)

  34. hasn’t this been Bill Maher’s shtick for the last 10 years,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  35. I agree. If we want practices to end, we can’t adopt them ourselves. Asymmetric warfare. There may be things we can do that they can’t or won’t.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  36. @30. Please. My views of politics are practical and reasoned –not cynical, Leviticus. :) Certainly, some pols are inherently better or more moral humans than others, and sometimes unexpected circumstances put an elected pol in the unique position to become an inspirational leader. But I’m a watcher and I honestly don’t think normal people choose to go into politics.

    I’m not at all suggesting every person in politics is a crook or a grifter. But many become unseemly wealthy while in office and later, as do their “friends”. To be sure for the most part every attempt by one candidate or one party to wrest control from another is because they want to convince voters that their use of power and their use of money will be more in the public interest than the other side’s. That’s why millions and billions are donated and spent to get people elected. I’m skeptical of voters who are hope and changers or ideological purists because I think they are naive and gullible where politics is concerned.

    elissa (46943a)

  37. When a candidate runs for public office, we should not delve too deeply. What matters is only what the candidate says today, not what the candidate may have said in the past which reveals the roots of candidate’s beliefs before prudence taught the candidate caution. That’s why I don’t want to know what Obama’s grades were, what he taught or didn’t teach when he was a world-reknowned lecturer, what is written in his supposed autobiographies (which I’m sure are as genuine as an politician’s books *cough*Kennedy*cough*), or his legal opinions he wrote while or after obtaining his degree.

    Anything a candidate wrote or spoke in the past has no bearing on what the candidate may do in office. The only acceptable sources are official position papers of the candidate and the candidate’s party, because those are truthful declaration of intent.

    Anyone who thinks these practices (of embarrassing candidates with youthful indiscretions) will end knows nothing of human nature. Will. Not. Happen. Ever. No matter how many people pat themselves on the back for being more moral than their fellow human beings.

    ErisGuy (76f8a7)

  38. Let’s say someone like, oh, maybe Palin says something like “You can see Russia from my state.” Then this is perverted by dem operatives and fostered by the media to “You can see Russia from my front porch.” That becomes her quote to show how stupid she is. Repeated over and over again until the perverted quote becomes the real quote.

    That’s why you must fight fire with fire. You cannot allow those type attacks to go unpunished.

    The dems are aware of that. That’s why they hide obama and shelly’s school records and papers. No one can know or question their racist rants of youth.

    If the dems had shame ted kennedy would not have been in congress for almost 50 years, john kerry would not be secretary of state and hillary would be in Little Rock baking cookies for bubba.

    Jim (a9b7c7)

  39. “The left would never extend the same compassion or restraint if a conservative had written this, and criticizing what Sanders said doesn’t bother me. Part of being a politician is answering for past statements. However, I agree not everyone has to agree where they would draw the line. We can also bemoan the sad state of political morality but part of politics is going negative at times, unless we want to lose.”

    Yes!!! But other than bringing him to his knees for his past “worthy of Freudian analysis” indiscretions, he deserves no attention and the focus should be on harridan Hillary! Clinton.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  40. The threat of reprisals is the only way we can moderate the left’s enthusiasm for the politics of personal destruction via character assassination. Hillary!’s Senior thesis is still locked up tighter than the design of briefcase-sized nuclear weapons. This is just a sensible preemption based on her understanding of the world.

    And not nearly enough was made Obola’s known associates when that might have done some good.

    As for Sanders, if this is the worst than can be dug up, then we are allowing the LHMFM to determine what is “good” and “bad”. Shame on us.

    bobathome (5b5810)

  41. Sanders is an ordinary, hypocritical, Brooklyn-bred socialist… sloppy in both appearance and thought process… the kind of schlep that holds appeal for the ninnies who inhabit the fever-swamp more commonly known as “contemporary liberalism”. Vermont flakey/bakey/Cherry Garcia/Phish-Food politics steeped in the Alinsky tradition.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  42. 31. …“Did Bernie Sanders make a big deal out of, say, Todd Akin’s “real rape” statements? If so, give him hell. But nobody’s really asking the question. It’s good enough that “the left” did it — so let’s punish “the left” by blowing up the Sanders story.”

    Jeffrey (2eddb6) — 5/29/2015 @ 9:40 am

    Bernie Sanders enthusiastically advanced the false Republican War On Women narrative. Which as far as I’m concerned make his comments fair game.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-bernie-sanders/united-against-the-war-on_b_1464730.html

    United Against the War on Women

    …The right-wing in this country is waging a war against women and, let me be very clear, it is not a war that we are going to allow them to win…

    Anybody who thinks something along the lines of “we can’t adopt their methods” is simply abandoning the field to people who demand to play by a different set of rules. There is nothing immoral about holding hypocrites to their own stated or demonstrated rules. There is nothing immoral about giving people a taste of their own medicine.

    As I commented earlier, when it comes to armed conflict reprisals are actions that would normally be illegal, but become legal when the one side to the conflict habitually flouts the rules. It would be immoral not to conduct reprisals.

    A reprisal in this case is perfectly acceptable. In fact, it’s demanded. We are not adopting their methods but by conducting a reprisal against this hypocrite we would be teaching the left their methods are wrong.

    I’m sorry, but anybody who thinks we should be wearing boxing gloves while the other side brings brass knuckles into the ring is simply hopelessly naive. They need to know what brass knuckles feel like so they’ll put on gloves next time.

    Steve57 (4f6474)

  43. 37. …Anyone who thinks these practices (of embarrassing candidates with youthful indiscretions) will end knows nothing of human nature…

    ErisGuy (76f8a7) — 5/29/2015 @ 10:39 am

    I’m curious as to what constitutes a “youthful indiscretion” in your book? What Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush reportedly did in high school is considered fair game as far as the left is concerned.

    Depending on what month that Sanders wrote that he was either 30 or 31.

    Sorry, but what you do in your 30s is in no way a “youthful indiscretion.”

    To complete the boxing analogy, George Stephanopolous is the ref and the judges are the Castro brothers and Nicolas Maduro.

    How pathetic are conservatives supposed to be?

    Steve57 (4f6474)

  44. You must punch back b/c if you don’t they keep punching you.

    Hang it on his neck and make him defend it on 60 Minutes.

    Rodney King's Spirit (b31520)

  45. And game theory proves tit for tat is the right strategy.

    So Ace wins.

    Rodney King's Spirit (b31520)

  46. Colonel Haiku,

    Todd Akin was an unknown and unimportant politician, too, but he became the face of the GOP’s war on women. The Democrats are going to play the gender card even more in this election than they did in the past. I think it will be very helpful for the Republicans to have a Democratic face to put on one of those playing cards.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  47. I agree with Patterico.

    To use these tactics is to implicitly validate them. If you do it, the Left will not learn to not do it. They will simply decide it is now acceptable to everyone.

    In. extreme cases, it would be, besides, too little too late. To build on Steve’s brass knuckles image.. there are times when the appropriate action is to cut the hand off at the wrist. In less extreme cases, the Left would simply go looking for more brass knuckles.

    kishnevi (90f892)

  48. Point taken, DRJ.

    If anyone is foolish enough to think that if the Rs refuse to employ these tactics, the Ds will undergo a sea-change and suddenly realize the error of their ways, they need to disabuse themselves of that notion by any means necessary, as they really don’t fundamentally understand who and what we’re dealing with.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  49. Todd Akin was an unknown and unimportant politician, too, but he became the face of the GOP’s war on women.

    You did not mention that the McCaskill campaign funded him because they perceived him as weak. Sarah Palin backed a woman candidate with a clean record. Akin was a known quantity with record of dumb statements and McCaskill knew he would be easy to beat.

    Mike K (504df3)

  50. How’s that working out for Israel, kishnevi?

    By failing to conduct reprisals, all they’ve done is confirm the impression that Hamas is allowed to play by different rules.

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/05/obama-admits-to-bias-against-israel.php

    During his speech last week at a Washington, D.C. synagogue, President Obama admitted that his treatment of Israel is based on bias against the Jewish State. He didn’t put it that way, of course. Instead, he said he has “high expectations” for Israel — higher than for other foreign nations. As discussed below, that’s an admission of a bias that operates to the detriment of Israel…

    It was Israel’s obligation to its own people to hold Arab nations and terrorists to the same standard. They failed, and in doing so validated the concept that double standards are perfectly acceptable.

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/gaza-officials-accuse-israel-war-crimes-icc

    PARIS (AP) — Top Palestinian officials have accused Israel of war crimes in Gaza, filing a complaint Friday to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

    Palestinian Justice Minister Saleem Al-Saqqa and Ismail Jabr, the Gaza court public prosecutor, started legal proceedings via a Paris-based lawyer over the 18 days of fighting between Hamas fighters and Israeli ground forces that’s left 800 Palestinians dead — including hundreds of civilians. Thirty seven Israelis have been killed, 35 of them soldiers.

    The officials accuse Israel of war crimes, which, they say, under the ICC statutes includes “crime of apartheid,” ”attacks against civilians,” ”excessive loss of human life” and “crime of colonization.”

    In the past Fatah and Hamas officials privately conceded that they would never do this. Not because it constitutes an abuse of their UN status. But because every rocket they fire into Israel, every suicide bomber they send into Israel, every gunman or RPG-equipped terrorist they send into Israel, every kidnapping team they send into Israel is a war crime.

    If the ICC refuses to take the case simply because they don’t have jurisdiction in the West Bank and Gaza that will be a symbolic victory for Fatah and Hamas. And it will cement the left’s commitment to the idea that different and lower standards should apply to themselves and their friends and higher standards should apply to their enemies.

    And it will be Israel’s fault for failing in its obligation to its own citizens. And frankly to the residents of Gaza who Hamas uses as Human shields.

    What makes you think it works any differently in politics than it does in war?

    Steve57 (4f6474)

  51. I am more and more of the opinion that the way to deal with censorious hysteria is to tell the hysterics “Sit down and drink a glass of lukewarm water, then take three deep breaths and SHUT UP. Those of us who are capable of acting like adults are busy.”

    The only cogitation required, I would think, would be on are the hysterics being told they must PAY for what offends them. And even then, I want less headless chickening, and more wit.

    If you cannot live where opinions other than your own might be expressed, please leave. I understand that lateral razor slits are efficacious, and auto-asphyxia is always popular. Try not to leave a mess for somebody else to clean up, K?

    If you cannot live in the same society with boors, bounders, cads, and swine, I am afraid you are shit out of luck. Grow some hide. And if you are just carrying on because you think it gives you an advantage over people more embarrassed to make fools of themselves in public, let me say “I thought so”.

    C. S. P. Schofield (a196fd)

  52. Permissiveness begets more permissiveness.

    Those who are argue otherwise are foolish and being ideological, not realistic.

    Rodney King's Spirit (b31520)

  53. After the way Mitt and Ann Romney were treated — f’em! Mark Foley was run out of Congress for emails. Garry Studds served how many terms?

    hadoop (657247)

  54. Steve, I tend to favor the argument that the only valid “law” in war is to destroy the enemy. If I were PM in Israel, there would be no Hamas in Gaza, because there would be no Gaza.

    Apply that to politics, if you would….but that means the whoke premise of Patterico’s post is not merely wrong, but even worse, irrelevant.

    kishnevi (adea75)

  55. whoke=whole

    kishnevi (91d5c6)

  56. I do agree with Patrick, entirely. I suspect the real problem comes down the line when the media turn on Sanders (who has no chance of winning) to make other Democrat candidates (you can guess) more appealing by comparison, and then any Republicans who don’t jump on Sanders will be crucified as well. Nevermind that any of them who decide to play it aggressively will doubtless have their past dug up and displayed (accurately or inaccurately) to make them look hypocritical for it.

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. I’d rather make the choice that doesn’t leave me feeling dirty.

    John S. (1ec0e4)

  57. “This is basically like that “You didn’t build that” non-sense. ”

    Except that wasn’t nonsense. It is what Obama said, and his point was abundantly clear. Sycophants have tried all sorts of spinning to explain it away, but it is consistent with his war against the economy, his war against successful people,’and his collectivist ideals and policies.

    JD (3b5483)

  58. None of this would even matter if the MFM wasn’t so d@mned biased.

    JD (3b5483)

  59. JD (3b5483) — 5/29/2015 @ 1:14 pm

    That’s a very valid point in more ways than one. The left’s smear campaigns work because the media will go along.
    If a conservative tries a smear campaign, you get a few people complaining about the conservatives using a smear campaign and ignoring what the issue is. And then you have conservatives demoralized either because it didn’t work, because we sunk to their level, or both.

    The reality is that the left has too many targets flooding the background noise that it is hard to know which to go after, how, and when. Not “smear” campaigns, down to earth truth that matters.

    I heard something today about mr. Clinton of the Clinton foundation charging $500,000 to be part of a NYC fundraiser for a woman’s charity that rebuilds schools in area of the Indonesia tsunami. that should be the headline today, not something about what Sanders said decades ago.
    They are all about themselves, today.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  60. Politics isn’t war. It’s the thing you do so that you don’t have to do war. Pick one or the other, sure – but keep them straight. If you guys think you’re at war with Democrats or liberalism, say so, and all of this scorched earth talk will make more sense.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  61. I’m probably going to get the quote wrong, but didn’t Kant write “Act such that the principle upon which you act were a universal truth.”? It differs from the golden rule in that it puts the focus on the principle, and not the action. What I see happen is that a given side will try to define the principle to their best tactical advantage.
    In this case a reasonable lefty response would be that the principle at stake is if the writings impact or indicate policy position. Todd Akins comments about true rape arguably show how he might vote on legislation regarding sexual assault or how to deal with it. It could also be argued that it’s a stand in for a number of other issues that impact women specifically. So his comments would be fair game.
    A reasonable right wing response would be that the principle at stake is respect for women as an end in itself. Bernie’s writing shows a deep disrespect just like Todd’s comment and are therefore relevant.

    A crappy response is that the only principle is if it helps my team win. There are plenty of examples of that on both the left and the right.

    time123@gmail.com (fd0080)

  62. “You set your own standards of morality. Don’t let the other side set them for you.”

    this isnt about morality…its about finally developing the state of mind that says we cant refuse to accept the situation anymore

    the situation is this: WHAT WE HAVE DONE UP TO NOW ISNT WORKING

    time is running out if it hasnt already

    the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results

    sound awake (beb21b)

  63. Tactics aren’t morals.

    Just A Guy (08458e)

  64. Eventually they are.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  65. “Eventually they are.”

    No, they aren’t.

    Just A Guy (08458e)

  66. If you do it, the Left will not learn to not do it.

    They will never “learn to not do it.” The left will continue with these types of personal attacks as long as they’re successful. And they are immensely successful.

    Look at the left wing portrayal of Bush, Cheney, Nixon, Romney, Palin, or any other public figure on the right. These are all uniformly offensive, mostly wrong, but are engrained in the public opinion of these characters.

    And the left wing white-washes the offensiveness out of their heroes. FDR, Wilson, Clinton (both varieties), Kennedy (Ted and JFK), and even Che, Mao, Castro and Stalin have been rehabilitated by the left.

    The left lies to the public because it works. The right thinks we should be above lying, and that the left will follow our example.

    egd (1ad898)

  67. Patterico:

    it would be fabulous behavior on my part if I could take the time to respectfully reply at length to the argument of every commenter, no matter how rude they are.

    I am not really sure why you had such abig problem with me -it seemed only to be with the argument.

    Anyway, I wriote something on April 2, but never posted it, because I wasn’t interested enough in the subject and it wasn’t clear to me exactly why the Fed did QE2. I still havent investigatyed it.

    But anyway here it is what I wrote in the beginning of April:

    Patterico (ed63ab) – 3/31/2015 @ 8:38 pm

    Challenge to Joseph D and
    now Sammy too:

    You have a choice. Your next published comment will do one of the following:

    1) Find me one link that says that in QE, banks were used as a pass through for the Fed to buy bonds from the Treasury, or

    2) Admit that you have no evidence for such a theory.

    I’ll do both:

    I never said such a thing – that buying bonds from the Treasury was the purpose of QE2, like Joseph D. says, or that only banks were a pass through.

    I said economists would say there’s no difference from whom the Fed buys
    it from.

    That would mean it could amount to being a pass through. And maybe mathematically it has to be identical to a pass through if the Treasury is selling at least as much debt as the Fed is buying.

    The purpose of QE2 was to keep long term interest rates low. Presumably so that banks wouldn’t hold on to cash, or make only short term loans, in the hopes that interest rates would be higher soon, or something like that. The Fed did not want a sharp yield curve. I could
    research what exactly was the idea of preventing a sharp yield curve.

    That’s number 2.

    Now for Number 1:

    I found a comment on Zero Hedge where somebody says something close to that. Not that banks per se, were a pass through, but that any buyer of the public debt was a pass through.
    I can probably find something better if I look more.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/tired-and-broke-all-qe-just-asset-swap-
    rhetoric-then-read

    Go down to comment number 979549 by cranky-old-geezer on Sunday 02/20/2011 at 12:35
    He says in part:

    What QE supporters and Bernokio himself fail to point out is the pass-through effect. When the Fed buys treasury debt, new money is passed from the Fed through the PD to the federal government where it is spent in the economy, increasing (inflatig) [sic] the “street-level” money supply, diluting the value of each dollar, resulting in rising prices for goods and services.

    It’s a two-step process rather than a one-step process if the Fed bought treasury debt directly from the Treasury, which the federal reserve act prohibits. The Fed gets around this prohibition by having PDs buy treasury debt then buying it from PDs.

    I am not sure what PD stands for here. My best guess is Public Debt holder (which doesn’t have to be a bank, and often is not.)

    And cranky-old-geezer is wrong there about the creation of money causing inflation. The fallacy there is, that assumes that there is a fixed amount of goods and services available for sale. The whole idea of stimulating the economy is that there’s not a limitation on the amount of goods and services, but rather there is some slack, or even a lot of it. (although there is also the idea you might have to pay a small price in inflation to get more economic activity)

    Sammy Finkelman (302bdd)

  68. “No, they aren’t.”

    – Just A Guy

    If a belief is a rule governing action, then (eventually) it is possible to reverse-engineer a person’s beliefs from their actions.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  69. Like Pol Pot’s reverse-engineering program.

    ropelight (15f0a8)

  70. Having read Sanders’ essay, I am at a complete loss about how people are actually pretending like this is something he should say sorry about. It is basically just a bad essay, written about gender norms, which he critiques. This is absolutely nothing like Todd Akin, in which he actually held certain beliefs (right or wrong, I’m not commenting on that here).

    But Akin didn’t really get hammered for his beliefs; 90% of the attack, and what seems to have destroyed him, was the completely reasonable distinction he drew between legitimate rape and fake rape. For some reason I still don’t understand, those two words, “legitimate rape”, sparked disingenuous outrate, similar to Romney’s “binders of women”, another phrase I don’t understand why anyone objected to. I guess “binders” sounded like some sort of S&M thing? And “legitimate rape” clashed with the PC pretense that all rapes, and even all allegations of rape, must be treated with the same seriousness. Or something. Whatever, it had nothing to do with his point about rape and pregnancy. So attacking Sanders for this is a legitimate equivalent of what happened to Akin.

    Milhouse (bdebad)

  71. the purpose of involvement in politics is supposed to be the creation (or at least promotion) of a world worth living in.

    True. And a necessary, though insufficient, condition for such a world to exist is that would-be dictators like Clinton and Sanders not be allowed to get their hands on the power to ruin people’s lives.

    Milhouse (bdebad)

  72. Really? Ever read Machiavelli? Politics is about power. And money. Always has been. From condo boards to the presidency.

    But for some people it’s about obtaining power over others and other people’s money, while for others it’s about preventing the former from obtaining these things.

    Milhouse (bdebad)

  73. There used to be places one didn’t go. For instance, when Dewey was going after FDR over Pearl Harbor, General Marshall asked him not to go there for the sake of national security, and he stopped. When JFK attacked Nixon over the loss of Cuba, Nixon knew that the Bay of Pigs was in the works, but he couldn’t talk about it so he had to remain silent and let Kennedy score a vital but invalid point. Can you imagine a Algore, Kerry, or 0bama behaving like that?!

    Milhouse (bdebad)

  74. To use these tactics is to implicitly validate them. If you do it, the Left will not learn to not do it. They will simply decide it is now acceptable to everyone.

    And if you don’t do it? They still won’t learn not to do it, and they will still treat it as acceptable for themselves, so what do we gain by not doing it?

    Milhouse (bdebad)

  75. It is impossible to overstate how complicit the MFM is in this.

    JD (50cdd7)

  76. Todd Akins comments about true rape arguably show how he might vote on legislation regarding sexual assault or how to deal with it.

    Huh? His only comment about true rape was the plausible but incorrect theory that women’s bodies tend react to it by rejecting conception. How would that translate into legislation about it? The only thing I can think of is that he might vote against a hypothetical bill to provide free emergency contraception to rape victims, thinking it unnecessary. Surely even if it were true that wouldn’t be significant enough to affect anyone’s vote.

    Milhouse (bdebad)

  77. Tactics aren’t morals.

    Exactly. There’s no moral principle that says one has to play fair.

    Milhouse (bdebad)

  78. If a belief is a rule governing action, then (eventually) it is possible to reverse-engineer a person’s beliefs from their actions.

    Yes, but the belief one could reverse-engineer from this sort of tactic is not that one is dishonest, but that one sees no moral duty to deal honestly with a thief. Which is true, and I don’t mind anyone concluding that about me.

    Milhouse (bdebad)

  79. Milhouse – time never knew the correct context of the original smear.

    JD (50cdd7)

  80. It is impossible to overstate how complicit the MFM is in this.

    JD (50cdd7) — 5/29/2015 @ 4:04 pm

    Indeed!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  81. 53. Steve, I tend to favor the argument that the only valid “law” in war is to destroy the enemy. If I were PM in Israel, there would be no Hamas in Gaza, because there would be no Gaza.

    Apply that to politics, if you would….but that means the whoke premise of Patterico’s post is not merely wrong, but even worse, irrelevant.

    kishnevi (adea75) — 5/29/2015 @ 1:02 pm

    You missed your chance. Like Barack Obama the world holds Israel to a higher standard. Impossibly high standards, and if Israel meets it while continuing to insist on its right to exist as a Jewish state they’ll keep raising those high standards until it’s impossible. These standards don’t exist in any existing body of international law governing armed conflict but they’ll make up special standards and hold Israel to them. And if destroying Hamas isn’t a war crime then they’ll make up new war crimes and prosecute Israelis for them. War crimes that no one except an Israeli could commit. Except possibly an American, a nation that’s also illegitimate in the eyes of much of the west and particularly in Barack Obama’s eyes.

    http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2015/05/liberating-our-jerusalem.html

    You see, it’s still the “Jewish question.” The problem is that Israel thought by foregoing its right of reprisal the world would rally to their side. How wrong they were. The west idly stood by as Muslim countries first made Jews and Christians second class citizens, then first wiped out the Jews and now are wiping out Christians. But Israel is an apartheid state if it doesn’t agree their enemies have a “right of return.” They never should have agreed to meet the higher standards that the people who think Israel should exist continue to ratchet up. They should have recognized what was going on years ago and insisted on all their rights under the LOAC including the right of reprisal. As with all rights, you lose them if you don’t use them. And I’m afraid Israel has now lost that right which every other nation on Earth retains. How they fundamentally misunderstood the situation.

    As does the GOP now. Destroying the enemy is precisely how the left does politics, in case you haven’t noticed.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/harry-reid-is-proud-he-lied-about-mitt-romneys-taxes/article/2562300

    …Harry Reid, D-Nev. has no regrets about his 2012 claims that then presidential candidate Mitt Romney paid no taxes for 10 years.

    The outgoing Senate Minority Leader even bragged to CNN that the comments, which had been described as McCarthyism, helped keep Romney from winning the election.

    “They can call it whatever they want. Romney didn’t win did he?” Reid said during a wide-ranging interview.

    So, in Reid’s world, it is perfectly acceptable to make a defamatory charge against an opponent to damage his campaign…

    These people don’t need merely to be defeated. Like Hamas they need to be destroyed. And the thing is, there’s no need to lie about them as they lie about us. As the CBC did and does when they go around to there constituencies and tell them that the GOP wants to bring back slavery, Jim Crow, the lynching tree. As Joe Biden did when he went before a black audience and said of the Republicans “They want to put y’all back in chains.” As Bernie Sanders did when he lied about the non-existent GOP War On Women.

    Bernie Sanders really did write that essay about women fantasizing about rape. That should be an issue that should be disqualifying. Hillary! should have to denounce those words and distance herself from Bernie Sanders.

    Otherwise we are merely abandoning the field to the left who will accuse Republicans and conservatives of living in the past and dredging up old allegations whey they talk about Benghazi (“Dude, that was like two years ago) while they investigate whether or not Scott Walker may or may not have been a nice guy in high school. Or demand Republicans distance themselves from 2003 while giving Hillary! a pass on 2010 and 2011.

    This is the same tactical error the GOP makes when we attribute the best of intentions to the left. While they accuse us of being traitors (Tom Cotton & the 47 Senators who signed his open letter), un-American, greedy people who only care about the rich and want to push grandma off a cliff.

    Because what’s a LIV supposed to think? Here’s what they think; Everybody, GOP and Democrat alike, agrees that the Democrats are nice, well intentioned people whose hearts are in the right place. We have bipartisan agreement on that. And the nice well intentioned people whose hearts are in the right place are warning the country about all the nasty things the evil Republicans want to do to the little guy.

    When it comes down to who to believe, they go with the party that it is universally agreed are the better people.

    As far as they are concerned only Republicans have skeletons in their closets. Because we are above making an issue of it. But the universally agreed upon better people aren’t.

    Steve57 (4f6474)

  82. Cooke has been on several Ace of Spades’s podcasts this year and these sentences fit in with the razzing he gets because of some English customs.

    John Pomeroy,

    I thought it was obvious that Ace was engaged in good-natured teasing — that’s part of the reason I quoted that portion — but everything is not obvious to someone, so it’s fine to point it out.

    Patterico (3cc0c1)

  83. Really? Ever read Machiavelli? Politics is about power. And money. Always has been. From condo boards to the presidency.

    I think it’s fairly well established that Machiavelli despised the tactics he wrote about, and wrote The Prince ironically.

    Patterico (3cc0c1)

  84. Patrick, I was raised with a firm belief in taking the high road. But sometimes the high road leads straight off a cliff.

    There is more than a little truth in the old saying “Nice guys finish last”. Dems set the rules long ago. We’re simply playing by them.

    creeper (e39c31)

  85. Eventually they are.

    I agree. I don’t see how someone can regularly and habitually engage in underhanded and/or knowingly dishonest tactics without that affecting their character, and indeed (as Leviticus notes in his Biblical quote) their very soul.

    Part of the problem here is that nobody is being specific about what tactics we are talking about. There is just a general sense that “they do it” (whatever it is) “and so we must also!”

    Patterico (3cc0c1)

  86. I’m a little dispirited by the reaction but not at all surprised. What am I referring to? My post was reduced to a comic-book assertion that we must play by “Marquis of Queensbury rules” and a lot of people ignored what I actually said and grafted their own interpretation onto it. Very few people reacted to the actual points I made in bold, and if anyone disagreed with me while actually bothering to grapple with those points, I apparently missed it.

    I expected that but I didn’t want to insult people by predicting it. But I find it frustrating that so many people do precisely what I feared and dismiss all my points with a “this is why the right always loses, the left engages in these tactics and we don’t” argument that doesn’t engage with my actual argument. Meanwhile, this is exactly what leftists say about us all the time: the right is willing to engage in these tactics and we lefties have to get tougher. (If you are not aware that they say that, try reading some commentary from the left.)

    I have another post in me, at least, about all this.

    Patterico (3cc0c1)

  87. 59. …If you guys think you’re at war with Democrats or liberalism, say so, and all of this scorched earth talk will make more sense.

    Leviticus (f9a067) — 5/29/2015 @ 1:39 pm

    Yes, we are at war with the Democrats/progressive left.

    Because they declared war on Republicans/conservatives.

    http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2011/11/judge-ted-stevens-investigation-reveals-prosecutorial-misconduct.html

    The lawyer investigating allegations of misconduct in the investigation and prosecution of the late Alaska Senator Ted Stevens is not recommending that any of the government’s lawyers face criminal charges, a Washington federal district judge said today.

    Still, the special prosecutor’s report, filed in the chambers of U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, revealed “systemic concealment” of favorable information that would have corroborated the former Republicans senator’s defense that he did not knowingly file false Senate financial disclosure forms…

    This was an entirely political prosecution. The whole point was to eliminate a Republican. And it worked. So what if it took some prosecutorial misconduct to accomplish the task.

    Tom DeLay’s prosecution was entirely political. The same political prosecutors are now going after Rick Perry. The Wisconsin John Doe cases are entirely political. Liberal Democrats are willing to lie, cheat, or steal, and even abuse their authority and send their political enemies to prison in order to win. Like Harry Reid only cares about winning, and is willing to make false and defamatory statements and then brag about how the only thing he cares about is that it worked. And of course he can brag about because he made those knowingly false and defamatory remarks from the Senate floor. Had he made them anywhere else he could be sued. That would be bad, so it’s best to abuse the speech and debate clause of the Constitution and knowingly and willingly defame his enemies in perfect safety.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2010/10/25/obamas-turnout-pitch-to-latinos-get-out-there-and-punish-your-enemies/

    In a radio interview that aired on Univision on Monday, Mr. Obama sought to assure Hispanics that he would push an immigration overhaul after the midterm elections, despite fierce Republican opposition.

    “If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, ‘We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us,’ if they don’t see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it’s gonna be harder and that’s why I think it’s so important that people focus on voting on November 2.”

    Referring specifically to Republicans such as Senator John McCain, who are stressing border security and supporting strict immigration laws like Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration measure, Mr. Obama said, “Those aren’t the kinds of folks who represent our core American values.”

    I’m half-disappointed that he didn’t go the whole nine yards and call Republicans “un-American” just to put a bow on the last month of campaign rhetoric, but there’s still plenty of time until the polls open next Tuesday.

    Of course, saying that Republicans don’t represent core American values is calling them un-American. But there was not need for Prom Queen to use that exact term as there were plenty of people like Nancy Pelosi from nice safe districts to do it for them.

    In case you haven’t noticed Obama has weaponized the IRS, and used it to defund his enemies (and yes, that’s exactly what he thinks as he’d rather address ISIS’ “legitimate grievances” than those of conservatives, or sit down and talk with the Ayatollahs than the House and Senate Republicans).

    Of course, there won’t be any smoking gun. Obama didn’t need to order the IRS to go after conservative (and pro-Israel) groups. We know that from the emails the IRS did produce. One official (not Lois Lerner) said that TEA Party and other conservative groups should be denied status because the advocated smaller government. Which is illegal and unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination. But she noted that smaller government couldn’t possibly be in the public interest. Because as far as she was concerned what is good for the Treasury Employee Union is axiomatically good for the country.

    So, yes, I’d say we’re at war with the Democrats/liberals and have been ever since they decided to criminalize disagreeing with them.

    Steve57 (4f6474)

  88. So, yes, I’d say we’re at war with the Democrats/liberals and have been ever since they decided to criminalize disagreeing with them.

    Who exactly are we “at war” with? Every Democrat in the country?

    May we lie to every Democrat in the country? Actively try to mislead every Democrat in the country?

    Come on.

    Patterico (3cc0c1)

  89. “Just as in war, you have to make it painful for [the Democratic media industrial complex].”

    Only the Democrats are not pained by attacks on Bernie Sanders. They would be by attacks on Hillary Clinton.

    David Pittelli (b77425)

  90. Emotionally, I want to hit back. Rationally, I believe that the only way to get the Left to stop their bad behavior is to make it painful for them to continue. However….

    The media are not going to support us on this. The refuse to acknowledge the left’s bad behavior, let alone call them to account. This is unfair, but a fact. Also…

    The Left feels no hypocrisy or shame. They simply don’t. They have convinced themselves that they are the good people, and we are evil, so anything in the pursuit of victory is virtuous.

    The Left depends on low information voters that have no idea who Hastert is, or what he did. all they know is “Republicans are racist”, “war on women”, “Bush is evil”. Ask them why they believe these things and the only answers are “because” or “everyone says so”. So…

    Even though hitting back would be emotionally satisfying, and can be rationally justified, in the end it would be ineffective. So, we might as well take the high road, provide a positive example and get something positive out of it.

    gahrie (12cc0f)

  91. The point is by pointing out Sanders’ speech, we challenge the Left to hold to their own standards – turning Alinsky back on them.

    We aren’t trying to silence him or cut off debate on any issue. We are only laughing at the hypocrisy of the left. But unless we force the left to see themselves for the hypocrites they are, we only preach to the choir.

    They will NEVER stop their assault on speech as long as there is no cost at all to it.

    Estragon (ada867)

  92. Leftism is the will to power, nothing more. They have no principles, no remorse, no shame and no sense of decency. If we play by gentleman’s rules, we’re going to lose because they will cheat and steal at every opportunity, then turn around and claim innocence with their media megaphones. The LIV public will believe them.

    We cannot win anything, not arguments, not elections, not cultural battles if we give the enemy an arsenal of potent weapons that we refuse to use. If we won’t use their tactics, we need our own, tactics that are proven winners, not feel good losers.

    Mr Black (f1b3a7)

  93. “Just as in war, you have to make it painful for [the Democratic media industrial complex].”

    Parcere subjectis et debollare superbos.
    Don’t waste powder on corpses.

    nk (dbc370)

  94. Sorry for the coding error. Please close my link if you have time.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  95. if team R were to focus like a laser on prosperity and strength and simply didn’t engage n silly culture wars, this is how they skip the noose of asymmetricality

    this whole pervy bernie the rapemeister thing

    if it were to play out, it can only play out under an umbrella of culture war

    meaning the duggar duggar filthpublicans would be ludicrously asserting a moral high ground

    lol and also lol

    and a huge waste of time and resources

    play to your strengths, lil monkeys

    what’s the most important thing what happened in 1Q?

    a ferocious economic decline?

    or pervy bernie the rapemeister?

    so much depends on your answer so take a beat wizzle wizzles

    happyfeet (831175)

  96. *slip* the noose I mean

    happyfeet (831175)

  97. Carter Eskew is a case in point. On the one hand, he gladly condemns conservative politics and politicians as immoral, while happily engaging in similar political acts that offend even his fellow liberals. When it comes to politics, maybe morality is always relative.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  98. 74

    Huh? His only comment about true rape was the plausible but incorrect theory that women’s bodies tend react to it by rejecting conception. How would that translate into legislation about it? The only thing I can think of is that he might vote against a hypothetical bill to provide free emergency contraception to rape victims, thinking it unnecessary. Surely even if it were true that wouldn’t be significant enough to affect anyone’s vote.

    Really? His comments were in the context of whether anti-abortion legislation should provide an exception for women who are pregnant as a result of being raped. If you believe women don’t get pregnant as a result of being raped then an exception would be pointless.

    James B. Shearer (23c542)

  99. legitimate rape is when you have a huge trade imbalance and disallow the export of crude oil

    happyfeet (831175)

  100. Morality assumes people agree on absolute truths and share common values. What absolute truths and common values do today’s liberals and conservatives share? We can’t even agree on basic values like matters of life and death, or how to raise children, or marriage. It’s no surprise we can’t agree on other issues, and I don’t think more mannerly politics is going to change this.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  101. Conservatives can’t even agree with other conservatives about many of these issues. happyfeet and others want to ignore divisive issues, but these are the basis for morality. Ignoring basic issues doesn’t seem to me to be the best path to forging a moral consensus, but it would be a good way to endorse secular solutions to every problem and make sure liberals win.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  102. It’s nuncupatory to even discuss moral values, or any values for that matter, in the same breath as politicians. The only thing politicians stand for is re-election.

    nk (dbc370)

  103. yes yes it’s completely nonpicklepatooty

    happyfeet (831175)

  104. hello hello grandma printypants has the pedal to the metal printing monies and she’s been caught obscenely zirping in public on an almost daily basis

    and the food stamp economy is shrinking!

    no interest rates

    negative growth

    this is much more terrifying than waking up and catching both joshie and bernie staring at you thisclose to your face

    happyfeet (831175)

  105. People like Mr Shearer are invested in Akin having meaning. At this point, it is revolting.

    JD (3b5483)

  106. Nixon knew that the Bay of Pigs was in the works, but he couldn’t talk about it so he had to remain silent and let Kennedy score a vital but invalid point.

    The record on Nixon has been so badly distorted that it will be a century before his presidency can be fairly evaluated and may be not then if present political trends continue.

    First, Kennedy misrepresented many facts in the 1960 campaign. Eisenhower offered to have him briefed and he declined. There was no “missile gap” and the Quemoy and Matsu issue that Kennedy raised was phony.

    Second, William Rogers believed that he had enough evidence of vote fraud in Texas and Illinois to reverse the election decision. Nixon declined for the sake of the country. According to Theodore White, he expected some forbearance in the Watergate scandal which was really a coup d’etat by Mark Felt. He didn’t get it.

    Lyndon Johnson had installed the White House tape system but there was a more crude one back to Roosevelt. Johnson was a crook and didn’t mind saying it. Among friends, of course.

    Nixon was hated because of Alger Hiss and the press never got over it.

    I don’t think the right can tell lies or run “smears” on Democrats but the truth should be enough. Telling the truth in a loud voice and repeating it so that even the LIV hear, is not “war.”

    Mike K (504df3)

  107. ==Really? Ever read Machiavelli? Politics is about power. And money. Always has been. From condo boards to the presidency. elissa (46943a) — 5/29/2015 @ 9:31 am==

    ==I think it’s fairly well established that Machiavelli despised the tactics he wrote about, and wrote The Prince ironically. Patterico (3cc0c1) —5/29/2015 @ 5:54 pm=

    Patterico– I did not see it last evening so I was not able to address your comment referring back to my comment. Frankly, I was disappointed in your cavalier and rather misleading response which suggests to me that you are actually not very familiar at all with either the contents or the initial purpose of Machiavelli’s book to engage his Medici prince. It is certainly true that Machiavelli’s work has generated much discussion and controversy over the past 500 hundred years. But the fact that he *did* write it 5 centuries ago is proof positive that the issues he explores and the various methods he discusses were known and recognized to be quite endemic to politics and the accrual/maintenance of power whether one likes that or not. In fact, through the chapters of the book he explores topics and situations of the type which are often discussed and argued about on the threads of this blog. IMO his book is both relevant and compelling because he so clearly understood human nature–human nature apparently being pretty consistent across the centuries. Here is the crux of it: Fortune controls half of human affairs, but free will controls the rest, leaving the prince free to act. However, princes must adapt their actions to the times and circumstances.
    The following excepts are from a symposium of historians titled “Machiavelli’s The Prince after 500 Years”, sponsored by the Boston University CAS history department.

    What was Machiavelli’s intent in writing The Prince?
    Johnson: That is one of the great unknowable questions. Some say he wanted to empower tyrants; others say he listed their crimes the better to expose them. Readers across the ages have found support for all kinds of causes: monarchists, defenders of republics, cynics, idealists, religious zealots, religious skeptics. Whatever its intent, one thing is clear. The book follows its declared purpose fearlessly and without hesitation: to show rulers how to survive in the world as it is and not as it should be.

    Was he arguing that the ends justify the means, or is that assessment too simple?
    Machiavelli is famous, or infamous, for shifting the sense of “virtue” from moral worth to effectiveness. The virtuous figures of The Prince are those who do whatever it takes to seize and maintain foreign territory, even if it entails the grossest violations. This is a morality, if that’s the right word, of ends. Now, was Machiavelli arguing for this or merely offering his prince a value-neutral how-to manual for rule? That’s a question the book doesn’t answer.

    Some have described the book as a political satire. Do you agree?

    I don’t. From all I can tell, it was offered sincerely to Lorenzo de’ Medici’s grandson as a kind of job application. …(The final chapter is an exhortation to the Medici family to follow Machiavelli’s principles and thereby free Italy from foreign domination.)
    How would you describe the book’s impact?

    This is a book that asserts many shocking things as simple precepts. When you injure someone, do it in a way so that he cannot take revenge. Cultivate an enemy so you can intimidate others by crushing them publicly. It is natural and normal to take territories that do not belong to you. Does Machiavelli, therefore, share some blame for the violence and brutality that has wracked the globe since he first wrote? No. People don’t need The Prince to be inspired to commit every atrocity it names and more. The impact of the book has instead been to force countless readers over the past 500 years to confront, in the starkest terms possible, the most important questions about politics and morality.

    What do you think Machiavelli would make of contemporary American politics?
    He would smile that famous inscrutable smile of his, as if to say, “This looks familiar.”

    http://www.bu.edu/today/2013/machiavelli-the-prince-still-relevant-after-all-these-years/

    elissa (211dac)

  108. Il Macchia served a tyrant, a sociopath, Cesare Borgia, he cited some of the more brutal regimes in history as rationalization for current events,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  109. “Who exactly are we “at war” with? Every Democrat in the country?”

    Patterico – I don’t see the question as one of “war” or morals or stooping to their level as has been suggested. I see it as a function of pointing out hypocrisy, double standards, and bias, which can be a valuable tool. I don’t see a universal answer with respect to when to employ such tools, but see the approach as more of a situational tool to be used based on judgement.

    Take the example of George Stephanapoulis’ attempted discrediting of Peter Schweitzer and his new book “Clinton Cash.” Should it have been pointed out that George is a long-time shill for the Clintons and undisclosed participant in Clinton Foundation events rather than a neutral reporter? Absolutely. Is that stooping to the level of the left for example with respect to climate change skeptics who they routinely and falsely claim are in the pocket of “Big Oil?” I do not believe so.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  110. And if Bush had followed Machiavelli’s dictums Iraq would be a stable country now.

    ropelight (885d54)

  111. are you sure, Volodya has pretty much followed that strategy in Chechnya, and it is a raging maelstrom,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  112. Since when has confronting hypocrisy been out of bounds?

    ThOR (a52560)

  113. 104

    I am invested in the idea that it is a bad idea for the Republicans to hand Senate seats to the Democrats by nominating candidates like Akin or Mourdock.

    James B. Shearer (80f7e4)

  114. furthering the fraud in anchorage,

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/03/sen-ted-stevens-prosecutors-hid-evidence-report-concludes/

    the lead Fbi handler of Stevens, had a relationship with him, that at the least procluded objectivity,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  115. “Since when has confronting hypocrisy been out of bounds?”

    ThOR – Who claimed it is? But is it stooping to their level?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  116. yes, I agree, only Richard 111 got worse press, than Nixon,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  117. I agree with daleyrocks.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  118. I would have phrased it differently, but Akin had a valid point, the left has driven a 18 wheeler through
    any exception, one has purportedly enacted for health or other reasons,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  119. double, triple, quadruple standards

    http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/207740/

    narciso (ee1f88)

  120. Patterico,

    I’ve re-read your post and stand by my original comments. We are engaged in a war of civilization. The left and their allies want to turn this country into a top-down socialist regime with all the suffering that entails. We see this every time we look at urban environments that vote consistently leftist. The voters continue to vote for the people that help cause their poverty and suffering because they are offered a few crumbs and cannot see any way to salvation. The left “others” their opponents and will not allow dissenting opinion to be legitimized.

    The only way to defeat such opposition is complete and utter destruction. When engaged in a war of civilization there are no half measures. We have seen time and time again, ever more rapidly, how the modern left uses their “two minutes of hate” to crush their opponents. Could you have imagined a time even 10 years ago where opposition to redefining a several thousand year old institution (marriage) would cause such individual to lose their business, their job, their finances and their home. Where even those who come to the aid of such individuals are punished by society at large? We are here.

    So if you feel that treating the left with the same destructive tactics they use against us is just a never ending cycle of violence, so be it. But understand that the left will not stop till you and everyone you love submit to their will. You are not permitted to have a dissenting opinion. All thought must be government approved.

    Think about it.

    NJRob (d36337)

  121. When in Rome…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  122. You can take teh bitch out teh ghetto, but you just can’t teh bitch out teh ghetto.”

    – Pointy Williams

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  123. 86. …May we lie to every Democrat in the country? Actively try to mislead every Democrat in the country?

    Come on.

    Patterico (3cc0c1) — 5/29/2015 @ 6:21 pm

    Pat, I take it you missed this in my comment @79.

    These people don’t need merely to be defeated. Like Hamas they need to be destroyed. And the thing is, there’s no need to lie about them as they lie about us. As the CBC did and does when they go around to there constituencies and tell them that the GOP wants to bring back slavery, Jim Crow, the lynching tree. As Joe Biden did when he went before a black audience and said of the Republicans “They want to put y’all back in chains.” As Bernie Sanders did when he lied about the non-existent GOP War On Women.

    Bernie Sanders really did write that essay about women fantasizing about rape. That should be an issue that should be disqualifying. Hillary! should have to denounce those words and distance herself from Bernie Sanders.

    Steve57 (4f6474)

  124. == Hillary! should have to denounce those words and distance herself from Bernie Sanders.==

    This is exactly the point. Just as every and all Republican candidates are always “required” by media to opine/denounce whenever a Republican anywhere says something stupid on any subject.

    elissa (211dac)

  125. ==I would have phrased it differently, but Akin had a valid point, ==

    Could you refresh my memory on what Akin’s “valid point” was?

    elissa (211dac)

  126. narciso@118
    Disconcerting, seeing that Squawk Box is the TV panel that routinely argues for the Tea Party agenda. In fact, given the fact that Rick Santelli usually appears there for a few minutes every morning, you might say it helped get the Tea Party going.

    kishnevi (91d5c6)

  127. Thank you DRJ.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  128. The inherent value of innocent life over the culture of death

    narciso (2accea)

  129. “…Careful observers will have noted analogous fissures in what, for lack of a better term, I will call the “progressive consensus.” “Progressive” is not quite right, because there is no progress—if by progress you mean movement from a given point to something better. But “progressive” is preferable to that other favored verbal specimen of evasiveness, “liberal.” As the word’s etymology suggests, “liberal” has to do with liberty, with freedom, and there is no mainstream ideology in modern Western democracies that is more inimical to freedom than “liberalism.”

    If you doubt that, try starting a business or uttering a “non-progressive” sentiment on college, running a bakery, hobby shop, or jeweler’s. It is a curiosity of our times that many words now signify more or less the opposite of what they originally meant. This is not, of course, an entirely new development. “Sanctimonious” once meant “holy.” Now it means “pretending to be holy, while actually being venal.” Just so, “liberal” once meant “on the side of freedom.” Now it generally means “pretending to be on the side of freedom while actually working to enforce conformity and intolerance.” Again, a quick look at life on almost any college campus today will illustrate the truth of this assertion.”

    http://pjmedia.com/rogerkimball/2015/05/28/the-relevance-of-the-hosue-of-usher-to-the-way-we-live-now/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  130. Patterico – I don’t see the question as one of “war” or morals or stooping to their level as has been suggested. I see it as a function of pointing out hypocrisy, double standards, and bias, which can be a valuable tool. I don’t see a universal answer with respect to when to employ such tools, but see the approach as more of a situational tool to be used based on judgement.

    Take the example of George Stephanapoulis’ attempted discrediting of Peter Schweitzer and his new book “Clinton Cash.” Should it have been pointed out that George is a long-time shill for the Clintons and undisclosed participant in Clinton Foundation events rather than a neutral reporter? Absolutely. Is that stooping to the level of the left for example with respect to climate change skeptics who they routinely and falsely claim are in the pocket of “Big Oil?” I do not believe so.

    I absolutely agree with everything you have said. This, however, is the problem with tossing around phrases like “we have to fight fire with fire” or “Republicans will always lose if they take Patterico’s gentlemanly approach” or similar phrases, Those are not direct quotes, necessarily, but they accurately paraphrase much of the commentary in this thread.

    I was at pains in the post to point out that there are times that it absolutely is appropriate to treat people differently because of their past behavior. I also directly said in the post that I have absolutely no problem with confronting hypocrisy, and gave specific examples. Here’s one:

    Getting back to Sanders: if there are people who made a huge issue of odd Republican statements about sex/rape in the past, ask those people how they feel about Bernie Sanders. Watch them squirm. I’m good with that.

    Your examples are along the same lines, and suggest to me that you and I largely agree about all this.

    Here’s the problem: you can’t ever express any concern about engaging in behavior that is immoral, simply because the other side does it, without a swarm of people saying things like (and this is a direct quote): “Since when has confronting hypocrisy been out of bounds?” Well, as you noted, daleyrocks, who said it was? Yet my post, which explicitly supported the idea of confronting hypocrisy, is misread by a large number of commenters as espousing some sort of milquetoast unwillingness to do anything but serve as a giant punching bag.

    And yes, Steve57, I did miss your caveat that it is not necessary to lie, because it is buried in a mountain of rhetoric about how “Liberal Democrats are willing to lie, cheat, or steal, and even abuse their authority and send their political enemies to prison in order to win” and that we are “at war” with them and reprisals are OK and consistent with the law of war and all that nonsense.

    I am increasingly impatient with the notion of “collateral damage” whether it’s in a real war or whether it’s in some imaginary war in the fevered mind of a hyperpartisan who is unwilling to concede any positive qualities in the character of almost half the voters in this country, such that the immoral tactics of the hyperpartisans on the other side somehow make ugly behavior towards the rest defensible. All this talk of “war” is overwrought and will justify stuff like engaging in kabuki faux concern over whether Bernie Sanders is going to rape his interns or whatever.

    Holding people accountable for hypocrisy is quite different from engaging in nasty tactics and justifying them based on the other side’s behavior — although I have seen some pretty nasty and immoral acts committed by people nominally on “our” side in the name of punishing hypocrisy, when it was really just a personal vendetta and the hypocrisy was made up. Again: all these “fighting back” doctrines are often used by people who simply gain a sadistic pleasure from torturing other people. You have to constantly be on your guard that you don’t fall into that trap yourself.

    Patterico (3cc0c1)

  131. Here’s the tl;dr version of the previous comment: please return to the post and read the parts in bold, multiple times if necessary, and try to let those points sink in. If people would actually react to those points I would be thrilled.

    Patterico (3cc0c1)

  132. If you consider yourself “of the Right”…
    1) try not to speak ill of others on your side of the divide… or of those on the other side, unless they truly deserve your rancor
    2) keep your powder dry, hold your mud and make your shots count
    3) point out the hypocrisy
    4) be of good cheer!
    5) be a good example to children, family, friends and all you have dealings with in all you do
    6) walk The Walk
    7) Live by the Golden Rule
    8) appreciate the past, live in the present, plan for the future
    9) Eschew what’s fashionable, be yuour own person
    10) for God’s sake, keep your toenails trimmed, nasal and ear hair mowed and teeth in good repair

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  133. I don’t emulate other people’s behavior because it’s bad behavior that makes me feel good — presumably to get even. I emulate that behavior to make a point: It gets their attention and can make them rethink their position when calm reason won’t. Responding to Bernie Sanders’ writing the way liberals treat conservatives may offend some people, but it also may wake up others. More important, saying nothing let’s liberals control the debate and leaves conservatives always playing defense. I’m sick of playing defense.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  134. I don’t emulate other people’s behavior because it’s bad behavior that makes me feel good — presumably to get even. I emulate that behavior to make a point: It gets their attention and can make them rethink their position when calm reason won’t.

    How, specifically, are you talking about “emulating their behavior”?

    I think we need to be more specific about what we’re talking about. I elaborate on that point in another post on the topic, published just now, with examples.

    Speaking for myself, I am happy to ask questions about it, insist that reporters do the same, and confront other candidates to ask them what they think. I would be thrilled to see anyone who went on about Akin asked about this.

    But I am not going to sit here and pretend to be more concerned about it than I really am. I think that’s the point Charles C.W. Cooke was making, and I’m willing to bet you agree. But I do think there are people on our side out there who don’t really think his bizarre piece is terribly meaningful today, but are willing to engage in a sort of kabuki theater where they pretend it does, and justify that pretense by saying the other side does it. That is the sort of behavior that I refuse to engage in.

    Patterico (3cc0c1)

  135. One of our biggest failures is that Tom Steyer has not been made as much of a household name and pariah as the left has conspired to demonize the Koch Brothers.

    elissa (211dac)

  136. I’m sick of playing defense.

    This is probably going to have to wait until part 3, which I’ll publish tomorrow, but here’s a preview:

    I am personally familiar with situations where I have to fight an asymmetric battle. I do it in courtrooms all the time. Defense attorneys will sometimes sandbag me with evidence they have deliberately withheld, lie to the court, lie to the jury, and actively attempt to mislead people about the truth.

    I cannot do that.

    Everyone on our side recognizes that there are different rules in play for my side than for the defense.

    If I were from the “fight fire with fire” school, I would say I have to stoop to the same tactics. Worse, I would say that because some defense attorneys do this, I should label all defense attorneys as “the defense” and claim that “the defense” does this, so I have to as well — even though many of them don’t. Only some do.

    The point is, I have standards I have to live up to, and I can’t engage in wrong behavior in court — whether directed towards the good apples or even the bad ones.

    That doesn’t mean I can’t use intense preparation and investigation to reveal their deception. It doesn’t mean that I have to lose simply because I play by a different set of rules. And I don’t. I do just fine, thanks.

    I think part of the reason is that jurors can tell when the defense is being underhanded. If I sank to the defense’s level, the jury would be disgusted with both sides and everything would go to hell. But if I keep my cool and hold fast to the truth and ethics, the jury will see that.

    Similarly, MLK Jr. advocated non-violence. He did so even though people got hurt, and there were Malcolm X types (who remind me of some of the commenters here, but not you, DRJ) who took the position that you have to fight back. Why, these Southerners aren’t going to learn unless we teach them by punching back twice as hard!

    But MLK Jr. was right. He didn’t intend to lose and he didn’t lose. He just knew that if he held steadfast to his principles, that what might initially look like weakness — a steadfast refusal to sink to the other side’s level — would eventually be revealed as strength to the country as a whole. And he would achieve what he wanted to achieve.

    Well, that’s a sloppily written version of what was going to be my next post. Maybe I won’t bother now that I already said it all.

    Patterico (3cc0c1)

  137. But MLK Jr. was right. He didn’t intend to lose and he didn’t lose. He just knew that if he held steadfast to his principles, that what might initially look like weakness — a steadfast refusal to sink to the other side’s level — would eventually be revealed as strength to the country as a whole. And he would achieve what he wanted to achieve.”

    Yes, he was right. But his reputation was bolstered by a revering media that inexhaustibly proclaimed him a saint. And I wonder how many young people really even know who he was or what he did. Our society has changed… mutated, may be more exact. I’m not sure our present circumstances would even countenance an appreciation of King’s strategy, much less its effectiveness.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  138. Prosecutors don’t work in an equal system as the defense. The State has many advantages but your duty is to find truth and justice, not to win. The goal in politics is winning. Even King’s approach was designed to win — but he was focused on winning hearts and minds, not elections. Conservatives can take the high road and we may win some hearts and minds, but we don’t have time on our side with the current leadership in Congress and the courts.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  139. Conservatives can take the high road and we may win some hearts and minds

    What is meant by “taking the high road”? One of the main points I am making in these posts and comments is that we’re being far too general, and probably would agree more on specifics if people were to lay out what they meant with all these generalized phrases.

    I don’t want to have people tell me I’m being too weak or whatever without getting specific about precisely what they are willing to do that I am not.

    Patterico (3cc0c1)

  140. Let’s be blunt. Would I lie to win an election? Maybe. I hope I wouldn’t blatantly and unfairly lie but facts aren’t easy to know. Would it have been a lie to suggest Hastert has something to hide? It might have seemed like a lie 5 years ago, but someone had to know about these allegations. What if they had approached one of Hastert’s opponents with that information?

    Further, we may hate the idea that the ends justify the means, but sometimes they do. Stealing in a desperate effort to feed one’s children doesn’t seem as bad as stealing in general. And police can lie in interrogating suspects and investigating crimes. Like it or not, political lies and tricks are part of the process. It’s why the media is so important and why the media’s failure to be even-handed is so tragic.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  141. Talking about situational ethics makes some people nervous. But you’ve given some examples that are worthy of consideration @ 139, DRJ. Another is a veteran who last week in a parking lot took a brick to a total stranger’s car window and broke it open when he saw a dog inside which appeared to be in stress from the heat and needed air.

    elissa (211dac)

  142. Once we concede that we would lie to win an election, our only basis for criticizing those on the other side who do the same is that their goals are worse than ours.

    Maybe that’s enough in some situations, but I want people to realize what they’re giving up when they make that concession.

    To infuriatingly make reference to a general analogy: high ground is strategically useful ground to hold, because it is easier to defend.

    Patterico (3cc0c1)

  143. The political lie that really bothered me was the suggestion in South Carolina that John McCain had an illegitimate black child, when he actually has an adopted black child. Everything I’ve read is that the Bush campaign was behind it. I think it was deplorable to take a truly admirable thing about McCain and his wife, and turn it into a slur on his character. Just the possibility caused me not to give money to Bush in that primary and part of the reason why I won’t support Jeb.

    Conversely, the Willie Horton ad run by Bush 41 never bothered me because I thought there was an element of truth to it. Yet almost 30 years later, some people still object to that ad.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  144. Conversely, the Willie Horton ad run by Bush 41 never bothered me because I thought there was an element of truth to it. Yet almost 30 years later, some people still object to that ad.

    That ad was solid. Legitimate point, first brought up by Gore.

    Patterico (3cc0c1)

  145. I don’t think there is high ground in politics or much morality in political campaigns. However, to me, that’s different than pundits or bloggers or regular people having standards. We don’t have to sell our souls for a political campaign and, contrary to njrob, I wouldn’t lie to hurt Cruz or Hillary or anyone else.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  146. I don’t want to confuse people. When I said I might lie to win an election, I was speaking as if I were part of the political campaign. I would not blatantly lie so maybe the better term is stretching the truth. Either way, lies and truth-stretching are clearly dangerous. Marie Harf still lies even though the campaign is over and now she’s part of government. I don’t know whether it’s habit with this Administration or whether it’s because he is in perpetual campaign mode, but lying is an accepted part of modern politics — especially since Clinton debated the meaning of “is.”

    DRJ (e80d46)

  147. I don’t think any of our discussing it matters one bit. We couldn’t make Bernie Sanders rape fantasies become part of the MFM daily narrative if we set out to do so. Therefore it is all a how many angels can dance on the head of a pin discussion. We don’t have the megaphone necessary for a level playing field.

    JD (3b5483)

  148. I don’t think any of our discussing it matters one bit. We couldn’t make Bernie Sanders rape fantasies become part of the MFM daily narrative if we set out to do so. Therefore it is all a how many angels can dance on the head of a pin discussion. We don’t have the megaphone necessary for a level playing field.

    You could say that, but you could say the whole blog is irrelevant because it (rarely) has stories that affect the national conversation (though it has had some).

    But on a more macro level, you could say that even electing a great President is likely to have little effect on the general trend of the national government growing into a Leviathan that takes more and more of our money and freedom. So even if our discussions here were highly influential on the election, that would not save the country from its general turning away from the country we have from 1789 to the 1930s.

    You could say all that, sure, and . . .

    . . . um . . .

    . . . well, it’s all true. What are we doing here again?

    Patterico (3cc0c1)

  149. Peaches: Oh hi Herb. Haven’t seen you round here in a mighty long while.

    Herb: Howdy do, Peaches. How you feelin’?

    Peaches: Herb I’m feeling like I’m in a lovin’ kinda way.

    Herb: And what kinda way is that, baby?

    Peaches: Herb you just c’mon on in, have you a glass of sweet tea, and I’m a show you.

    happyfeet (831175)

  150. The fact that Gore raised the Willie Horton incident first doesn’t make it a legitimate ad, unless you think Al Gore has standards worth emulating. Okay, that was a little tongue-in-cheek, but it lets me get back to what I think the important point is. No one ever knows all the facts or can present things in a way that seems fair to everyone. The point of politics is to get in the arena and let the public/media help sort out the truth.

    What made the Horton ad legitimate to me is that there was a factual basis for blaming Dukakis. Horton was a murderer who received weekend furloughs supported by Dukakis — he vetoed a bill that would have prevented murderers from being furloughed, because he believed they deserved the chance for rehabilitation. Horton committed serious crimes while furloughed. Liberals have always viewed it as an unfair ad to blame Dukakis for one man’s crimes, when his intent was good. We have completely different ways of looking at things, to the point that one man’s lie is another man’s truth. I don’t think that’s hyperbole.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  151. Pat -‘fair enough. But it is impossible to compare hypothetical situations on the left and on the right without a larger discussion of the role the MFM plays in this.

    JD (3b5483)

  152. If the MFM treated the Akin statement the way they treated Sanders written words, we might never have even known who Akin was, beyond being a candidate funded by Dems in the primary. It is asymmetrical in a way that makes that word Insufficent to accurately describe.

    JD (3b5483)

  153. The fact that Gore raised the Willie Horton incident first doesn’t make it a legitimate ad, unless you think Al Gore has standards worth emulating.

    Agreed, my comment was meant to imply an “and” — it’s a legitimate point AND it was first brought up by Gore (so tarring only Bush with it, as many on the left did, and suggesting that it was a Republicans=racists issue, was wrong).

    I agree that it was a totally legit issue.

    Patterico (3cc0c1)

  154. 132.I don’t emulate other people’s behavior because it’s bad behavior that makes me feel good — presumably to get even. I emulate that behavior to make a point: It gets their attention and can make them rethink their position when calm reason won’t. Responding to Bernie Sanders’ writing the way liberals treat conservatives may offend some people, but it also may wake up others. More important, saying nothing let’s liberals control the debate and leaves conservatives always playing defense. I’m sick of playing defense.

    Morality aside I don’t understand the tactical argument here. How does it help conservatives to assist the Clinton campaign in smearing Sanders? Wouldn’t the better line be something like:

    It is truly sad that Clinton is so paranoid and insecure that she is willing to employ these despicable smear tactics against a harmless (albeit eccentric) old man like Sanders.

    James B. Shearer (23c542)

  155. failmerica is reduced to talking about Bernie Sanders

    #neversawthatcoming

    happyfeet (831175)

  156. Count on Shearer to miss the overall point.

    JD (3b5483)

  157. morality aside

    happyfeet (831175)

  158. This explains why I think it helps conservatives, Mr. Shearer.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  159. I should have posted this comment here instead of the other thread. It makes more sense here.

    66.Maybe this is a distinction that only matters to me but I view this discussion as asking our opinions if we worked on a political campaign. I think the rules for campaigns are more lenient for both sides. It’s the nature of the political campaign beast.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  160. Missouri is not a place people are proud to be from

    ever notice that?

    me, I’m from texas

    happyfeet (831175)

  161. it’s A funny thing about Akin, American Bridge, the Obama PAC, which Sid Vicious was a part of, framed him based on one quote, leaving out his background as a scion of a prominent steel family, prep school education, training as an engineer, fluent in Greek and Latin, and an born again Christian,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  162. Todd Akin was an unknown and unimportant politician, too, but he became the face of the GOP’s war on women. The Democrats are going to play the gender card even more in this election than they did in the past. I think it will be very helpful for the Republicans to have a Democratic face to put on one of those playing cards.

    A fringe Democrat who was just crushed by Clinton in the primary? I don’t see how that helps. And I don’t see how it is helpful to validate the liberal claim that this sort of thing is important. It will always end up being used more against conservatives.

    The specific problem with Akin and Mourdock was that they opposed abortions in cases of rape which is unpopular even in conservative states. It isn’t really unfair for political opponents to highlight your unpopular positions.

    James B. Shearer (23c542)

  163. now the problem was rove stuck a shiv in the former, and Lugar did the same to the latter, interestingly,
    the no waves candidacy of Thompson, Mack and Allen went nowhere fast, which proves how fake the narrative is,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  164. As a Mormon friend and co-worker once told me, “Missouri – and Missourians – don’t show me shi+”.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  165. Akin was far more fringe than a sitting US Senator, Shearer. Akin was promoted by Dems in the primary. Your perfidy and dishonesty is noted.

    JD (3b5483)

  166. Sanders is also much closer to the Democratic core, a male Red Squaw without the scalp, comparable to Foot and Benn in the British Labour Party,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  167. I think you may have misunderstood my point, Mr. Shearer. I never said it was unfair to criticize Todd Akin. My point is conservatives should be equally willing to point out problems with Democratic candidates. Even marginal candidates, if they espouse dramatic or unusual views, can make an impact with some voters.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  168. 164.Akin was far more fringe than a sitting US Senator, Shearer. Akin was promoted by Dems in the primary …

    A sitting Senator who was elected as an independent. I am aware that Akin was promoted by the Dems because they thought he was a weak candidate. Not too bright for the Republicans not to realize this also. And by this logic conservatives should be promoting Sanders not helping Clinton smear him.

    James B. Shearer (23c542)

  169. … My point is conservatives should be equally willing to point out problems with Democratic candidates. Even marginal candidates, if they espouse dramatic or unusual views, can make an impact with some voters.

    I don’t think the views of fringe candidates who get crushed in the primary matter to many people. Which is just as well considering the Republican primary field.

    James B. Shearer (23c542)

  170. Exhibit A in leftist thought. Our guy is fringe and should be ignored. Your guy is mainstream and reflects the views of everyone in the party, who must answer for him. Shearer inadvertently came along and gave us an object lesson in how they put their mendacity into practice.

    JD (3b5483)

  171. howard yeargh dean, was totally nutz and he almost clenched the nomination, then they moved him to head the entire national party,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  172. 170

    Who are ‘they’? I am not a leftist. But a lot of you guys are so deep in the conservative bubble that you have lost contact with reality.

    James B. Shearer (23c542)

  173. that is a gross mischaracterization

    happyfeet (831175)

  174. 130. …And yes, Steve57, I did miss your caveat that it is not necessary to lie, because it is buried in a mountain of rhetoric about how “Liberal Democrats are willing to lie, cheat, or steal, and even abuse their authority and send their political enemies to prison in order to win” and that we are “at war” with them and reprisals are OK and consistent with the law of war and all that nonsense…

    Patterico (3cc0c1) — 5/30/2015 @ 12:23 pm

    This is precisely the problem, Pat. You think it’s “nonsense” to weigh the costs and decide at a certain point that it is justified to act in a way that would normally be immoral/unlawful but for the greater illegality/immorality of your enemy. In fact, it would be immoral not to do so, considering there is no other way to curb your enemy’s immoral and illegal actions.

    When your enemies are taking prisoners, not metaphorically but in actuality, then you are at war with them.

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/03/sen-ted-stevens-prosecutors-hid-evidence-report-concludes/

    After a trial filled with legal gaffes, numerous requests for a mistrial by the defense and stunning revelations of the prosecutors withholding evidence Stevens was wrongfully convicted by a federal jury in October 2008 just days before he faced election for his Senate seat. Shortly after the trial concluded, a key government witness David Anderson came forward and acknowledged that he provided false testimony and that the prosecutors allowed billing records from Anderson to be introduced into evidence although they knew they were inaccurate.

    Following a review by a new set of prosecutors in April 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder asked Judge Emmett Sullivan to dismiss the indictment and not proceed with a new trial.

    Steve57 (4f6474)

  175. 172. …But a lot of you guys are so deep in the conservative bubble that you have lost contact with reality.

    James B. Shearer (23c542) — 5/31/2015 @ 7:15 am

    The world reacts to the shear lunacy of deciding Catastrophic Global Warming is the number one threat to “global security,” as Obama put it when he spoke at the Coast Guard Academy, but it’s conservatives who have lost touch with reality? This is insane.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXodRLLkth4

    This from Egyptian TV. Spot on, and funnier than any satirical commentary SNL has ever done.

    Steve57 (4f6474)

  176. 175

    There is a liberal bubble also.

    James B. Shearer (23c542)

  177. In which the likes of Shearer are firmly ensconced.

    JD (3b5483)

  178. Did you notice my post? I know it might be the right place to post it?

    Sammy Finkelman (302bdd)

  179. An alternative view: The current phase of the American Experiment has failed. However as Smith said, there’s plenty of ruin in a country and so it could be quite some time before the failure is complete and a renewed America will be born. That intervening time will be one of increasing sorrow for us and the world. I think therefore the moral course is to shorten that time by increasing the speed of descent. Relentless bashing of targets of opportunity like Sanders in one way. They want a $15 minimum wage? If that’s so great, I say $20 or $25 or why not $50? They want yes-means-yes? I say that’s not enough – sexual activity on campus should require a public declaration of consent or else will be assumed to be non-consensual with mandatory expulsion.

    Ed (a60284)

  180. Firstly, Bernie Sanders is lying about what he wrote. It wasn’t fantasy. It wasn’t 50 Shades of Gray. It wasn’t satire. This was his view of human sexuality in which fantasy obviously played a large and somewhat disturbing part. The fact that he is lying about it makes it relevant.

    Secondly, you don’t need to make it personal. You don’t have to insist that Bernie Sanders is a perverted old goat that you probably wouldn’t want around your children even though he is. I think the highest priority in these cases is exposing the double standard. Eviscerate that. Bayonet that double standard to death. Beat it until the Left doesn’t even consider running a story about someone driving around with their sick dog on the roof.

    Zelda (a9e309)

  181. you are both right.

    Follow me here. If you wish to get to heaven then of course turn the other cheek. If you wish to win a fight, you punch back.

    Go go ganhdi, when your opponent has values they will not violate. Gahndi-style would not have worked against the Nazi’s but worked fairly well with the Brits. Animating spirit of the left is valueless these days, and setting a good example will do you no good with them. Note I did not say all democrats. As long as the animating spirit of the democratic party is thus, they only thing that will curb their behavior is reprisal.

    Having said that, by reprisal you also likely alienate “good” democrats. So winning elections will be difficult and governance more difficult. Taking the high road, means you will hamstring yourself also in winning elections. Its a lose lose situation. However, I think the ship of state has left the dock so to speak. You will not solve this Country’s problems now barring a miracle.

    So as a man of honor, if I am going to die I might as well die with honor intact. On the other hand, as man, if I’m going to die and want to do my duty and take as many of the bastards with me as I can so the next guy doesn’t have to deal with them. Its really a tough call and I won’t disparage either choice. I will respect you both as men who thought it out and made the decision they wish to finish with . . . because the end is coming. Ultimately you both are in the bargaining stage you want to negotiate the terms on which you go down. I respect your choices in this regard.

    joe (21c041)

  182. ALL Demokkkrats reap the benefits of the general leftist campaign of nastiness. When you use target discrimination in counterstrikes, the rats will just move through Cambodia. The stakes are too high, and the damage we’ve suffered is too great for a bunch of Gentleman Jim nonsense. There’s NO upside to that strategy except, “We can feel like we’ve done the right thing.” To hell with that.

    DrZin (30a228)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 1.2533 secs.