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Drew
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Thanks for the rent-free space in your head. Would have been nice if you'd cleaned it up a bit before you rented it out, though.
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Weird, because it's so rare.

But it's a phenomenon I've mentioned here several times this summer. Looks like the New York Times finally agrees with me.

Crying Wolf, Then Confronting Trump

Quote:
Conservative commentators and die-hard Republicans often brush off denunciations of Donald Trump as an unprincipled hatemonger by saying: Yeah, yeah, that’s what Democrats wail about every Republican they’re trying to take down. Sing me a song I haven’t heard so many times before.

Howard Wolfson would be outraged by that response if he didn’t recognize its aptness.

“There’s enough truth to it to compel some self-reflection,” Wolfson, who was the communications director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid in 2008, told me this week.

In fact, he finds himself thinking about it a whole lot: how extreme the put-downs of political adversaries have become; how automatically combatants adopt postures of unalloyed outrage; what this means when they come upon a crossroads — and a candidate — of much greater, graver danger.

“I worked on the presidential campaign in 2004,” he said, referring to John Kerry’s contest against George W. Bush. He added that he was also “active in discussing” John McCain when he ran for the presidency in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012.

“And I’m quite confident I employed language that, in retrospect, was hyperbolic and inaccurate, language that cheapened my ability — our ability — to talk about this moment with accuracy and credibility.”

Did Democrats cry wolf so many times before Trump that no one hears or heeds them now?

That’s a question being asked with increasing frequency, though mostly in conservative circles and publications. An essay by Jonah Goldberg in National Review in late July had this headline: “How the Media’s History of Smearing Republicans Now Helps Trump.”

In Commentary, Noah Rothman has repeatedly examined this subject. He wrote back in March that when “honorable and decent men” like McCain and Romney “are reflexively dubbed racists simply for opposing Democratic policies, the result is a G.O.P. electorate that doesn’t listen to admonitions when the genuine article is in their midst.”

“Today,” he added, “they point and shout ‘racist’ into the void, but Democrats only have themselves to blame for the fact that so many on the right are no longer listening.”


. . .

Quote:
Democrats were indeed dire about Romney, even though many of them, including President Obama, now speak of him fondly, as a Republican whose prescriptions might be flawed but whose heart is true.

Four years ago, he was a bloodsucking capitalist vampire whose indictment of Obamacare was ipso facto proof of his racism. In The Daily Beast, he was called a “race-mongering pyromaniac.” On MSNBC, he was accused, by a black commentator, of the “niggerization” of Obama into “the scary black man who we’ve been trained to fear.”

Romney was supposedly out of touch with reality — never mind that he had governed a blue state, Massachusetts, without cataclysmic incident — just as McCain was described, in some quarters, as a combustible hothead who couldn’t be allowed anywhere near the nuclear codes. He was Trump before Trump, which makes Trump less Trump.

And those are just the presidential candidates. Plenty of other Republicans have confronted charges of florid racism and incipient fascism that apply to some of them infinitely better than to others. Gradations disappear. Distinctions vanish.

Important words are hollowed out, so that they lose their precision and their sting, and exist mainly to perpetuate a paralyzing climate of reciprocal hatred between political parties.

After Clinton’s 2008 campaign, Wolfson went on to work for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Democrat who became a Republican and then an independent. He’s still in the former mayor’s employ, as a senior adviser.

That’s the vantage point from which he has watched Trump’s ascent, and from which he’s making some crucial observations.

“It’s only when you find yourself describing someone who really is the definition of an extremist — who really is, essentially, in my opinion, a fascist — that you recognize that the language that you’ve used in the past to describe other people was hyperbolic and inappropriate and cheap,” Wolfson said.


I predict the lesson will not be learned.
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non sequitur
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I agree, hyperbolic overreaction to political events and politicians is shameful.

devil
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Drew
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Thanks for the rent-free space in your head. Would have been nice if you'd cleaned it up a bit before you rented it out, though.
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Also, I love the photo illustration SO MUCH.

Obama-with-a-halo was tiring by January of 2009. This . . . this is GOLDEN!

 
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Lone Locust of the Apocalypse
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Terwox wrote:
I agree, hyperbolic overreaction to political events and politicians is shameful.

devil


He does not see what you did there.
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Lynette
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Yep, I am a girl Scientist. Come for the breasts; Stay for the brains!
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Yep!! I am seeing and hearing this myself this cycle. I know a few IRL potential Trump voters and they don't believe all the bad things the Press reports, in part exactly because of all the extreme exaggerations that were said about conservatives in the past.

If you paint them all as devils, when the real devil shows up how to you point out this one is somehow really actually worse than the others who went before?

I keep pointing out that I supported McCain and Romney so if I am saying he is horrible that should matter. That has made some impact... but many people just don't trust just the press any longer to report anything reasonable.

BTW most don't watch Fox either. Different bias is still bias to them, which I agree with. Getting the opposite spin can help with perspective but that still isn't getting the truth directly from anybody on purpose.
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Wendell
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Frank Bruni was, is, and will be an idiot.
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Drew
United States
North Dakota
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Thanks for the rent-free space in your head. Would have been nice if you'd cleaned it up a bit before you rented it out, though.
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I control your mind.
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wifwendell wrote:
Frank Bruni was, is, and will be an idiot.


Oh, I'm sure I agree with you there. He's a New York Times idiot, and those are like Idiot Monarchy. The Emperors of Idiocy.

But where is he wrong here?
 
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Jeff Brown
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Drew1365 wrote:

I predict the lesson will not be learned.


I totally and completely agree with your post and this part in particular.

The lesson will not be learned because of the psychological effects of competition. When you are competing with a group you really do start to see them as your enemy and as the devil. This is typically true of almost all partisan speach. It's why I yawn at most attacks on the opposite party from the attacks on Romney to Mccain to the attacks on Obama also.

It's hard to believe that Trump is so horrible when they said the same thing about Romney and Mccain.

Likewise its hard to believe that Clinton is so horrible when all the same things are said about Obama also.

Self Reflection is rare also as when you are in the moment you really feel that this time your attacks are justified because this is the moment that the other person really is the devil... That could be a problem if the devil really comes along.
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Wendell
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All the little chicks with crimson lips, go...
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Drew1365 wrote:
wifwendell wrote:
Frank Bruni was, is, and will be an idiot.


Oh, I'm sure I agree with you there. He's a New York Times idiot, and those are like Idiot Monarchy. The Emperors of Idiocy.

But where is he wrong here?


The single most likely factor to explain the Republicans having nominated Trump is that more Republican primary voters voted for Trump. Bruni's reasoning doesn't strike me as sound. And he's the guy (one of them, but a leading one) who made fun of Al Gore for sounding smart. Like 2000 was the election for 9th grade class president and somehow sounding smart wasn't good.
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Grand Admiral Thrawn
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Eh. Which historical periods of American political competitions were not hyperbolic? I'm thinking only the middle of the Cold War, when we stuck together by necessity, but even then there was red-baiting. The Founders deeply disagreed and wrote publicly about it. They set the stage for our activity.

I don't want to look up sources now, but Washington was considered an Anglophile to the point of being traitor worthy of being tarred and feathered. The most surprising thing about this period was that Federalist and Antifederalist militias prepared firearms and artillery for the Election of 1800 to fight it out if their side did not win. That source was American Politics in the Early Republic by James Roger Sharp.

Admittedly, I can be hyperbolic as hell on here about the Right, but the next day I usually realize how I come across, and how it is normal in a historical context.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Now

Take a step back, change Trump to Hillary and think about what you are saying.
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Chief Slovenly
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Christ, this again.

If I'm as evil a liberal as claimed, why would I stop? Why should I ever stop, if it means the GOP digs itself into a deeper hole and twists itself into increasingly (and hilariously) crazy positions trying to justify it all?

Why go to all the trouble of ignoring all the Limbaugh/Savage/O'Reilly/Ingraham/Coulter/whothefuckever wankers unless it's to completely absolve the GOP from what its messaging has carefully nurtured and fostered over 30-40 years?

Party of Personal Responsibility, please go and fuck yourself. With the aforementioned free dildos.

Edit: forgot Hannity, who's now more or less shedded the fig leaf and is working openly with the Trump campaign. So I guess Sean Frigging Hannity's my fault too.

And I'll save myself the next post:

Related: Trump, GOP still fucked.
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J.D. Hall
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The tone of political speech has always been acerbic and taunting. What makes it different now is the "24-hour news cycle," which tends to make the problem even worse. Both sides practice it, and yes, neither side will learn from it.


einsteinidahosu wrote:
Admittedly, I can be hyperbolic as hell on here about the Right, but the next day I usually realize how I come across, and how it is normal in a historical context.

No offense, but that is one hell of a rationalization.

H. Rap Brown wrote:
If you ain't part of the solution, you part of the problem
 
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