March 7, 2009

On Patterico [Dan Collins]

I say. I just think that he’s wrong about this. That’s all.

It’s possible that I’m misunderstanding him, though I don’t think so. He expresses himself clearly and thinks clearly. He’s been a good friend of the internet kind to me. He’s done some marvellous work, and some work that distinguishes itself in the “right” blogosphere as investigatory, which is something that we can all use more of. He’s been a champion of free speech and a bulldog critic of abuse at the L.A. Times. His bona fides are excellent and I’ve agreed with him about a lot of things. My impression is that he’s a good man, even if, as most of us who blog are, he’s a bit of a narcissist. I know I am–and gosh, I love myself for that.

The shabby treatment that Jeff received from PJM and some of its bloggers has led to some paranoia (which isn’t always unjustified) and now meta-paranoia. None of this is helpful. And just because someone doesn’t agree with your argument, as compelling as you yourself find it to be, doesn’t mean that he’s being intellectually dishonest. Further–and I think this is key–different people under the same circumstances of equal “intelligence,” however you wish to measure it, may come to entirely different conclusions about risks and rewards. I drive more quickly than some people do on icy Vermont roads, and I imagine that as I pass they mutter “idiot” as I go by. And when people pass me under those same conditions, I do the same thing.

As Jeff notes, those of us who’ve been reading him for a long time understand why he places such emphasis on hermeneutics and intentionalism. We order and structure our world, our thoughts, according to language that we hope is more or less congruent to reality. When the language becomes warped, we see as through a glass darklier than we should. All of us are perjured to some degree by self-love and self-interest. But to revert to Patterico’s analogy of the courtroom (recognizing first that it’s always dangerous to argue by analogy, but that language, insofar as it’s meaningful depends on analogues), the question is, how do we regard the judge and prosecutor? If the judge gives instructions that skew the field of inquiry and the prosecutor knowingly solicits and presents perjured testimony, then how do we proceed? Do we recognize the honor and integrity of the court, because not to do so would make us seem unsympathetic to the jury? I hope not, and I hope that we don’t accept the eternal series of plea bargains that have proved so disastrous in the UK, Europe and at the UN.

As the Britons have just become aware, Michelle Obama is one of those people who argues that a racist incident can be said to have occurred whenever the putative victim feels that it has occurred. This is, at root, a cynical kind of madness, but it is one that has been carefully inculcated and nurtured in academe and the media for decades, and which has now taken up residence in our very courts–the ones in which Patterico works–thanks to legislators who find some personal or partisan gain from pandering to the appetite for victimhood and the moral authority that it is accorded. And if you reward victimhood by according it this special status and esteem, then you incentivize it, in the parlance and the parliament of our betters. And when this happens, human relations are the victim, and mutual respect is the victim, and we are all victims.

And we don’t want to be fucking victims.

It’s fair, I think, for Patterico to claim that he’s been misjudged, because he seems not to share all of these premises, because here he’s come into a linguistic court that doesn’t respect the same precedents as the law does. And his intellectual foundation is in the law. And here, it’s not just a colorful term of self-reference to say that we are outlaws, because that is what the linguistic warpage accomplished through the law has turned us into. So, Patterico differs. And maybe it’s true that we don’t “get” him. It seems equally true that he doesn’t “get” us. If we don’t “get” each other, I’m not willing to conclude that that’s a function of intellectual dishonesty. And, by all means, let us use suasion where possible, and let us be civil where possible, but let us never lose sight of the fact that some of our adversaries are lying dogs, and that for them this is a game that needs to be jobbed, but that has terrible consequences for our world and for our values.

Jeff will probably disagree with some of what I’ve said here, and so will some commenters. But Jeff and those commenters will let me have my say, and that is why I am here. And despite all of this rancor, if I were to visit L.A., Patterico would be one of the first people I would call. Old boy.

Posted by Dan Collins @ 9:51am
463 comments |

Comments (463)

  1. “As Jeff notes, those of us who’ve been reading him for a long time understand why he places such emphasis on hermeneutics and intentionalism.”

    Don’t forget telling people to “blow him” when he is annoyed with them.

    Jeff really missed his calling with the State Department.

  2. A good place for Patterico to start would be to address Jeff’s argumanets, point by point, as Jeff did to his the other night. Patterico studiously ignored Jeff’s points, opting instead to engage other posters. Bad manners at the very least.

  3. I slapped a man, with my cock, just to watch him cry.

  4. Mushroom tattoos for everybody eh.

  5. This rightwing ‘blogosphere’ is at a kind of crossroads between marketplace of ideas and network, as I see it. Folks were hoping that PJM was going to become our network but they’ve failed in establishing that.

    Jeff is, in some ways, trying to preserve a space for the marketplace of ideas to flourish, not only here on the net but in the larger society. And that is vital work, since many of us can see that the current configuration of networks started out on the wrong foot and will result in little we’re aiming for.

    And I think he sees and explains very well that our political enemies are already well-formed into lockstep networks speaking an identical language of distortion and falsehood. Underneath the cockslappings and ‘blow me’ he’s asking simple questions.

  6. To the extent that one need not be needlessly provacative to get one’s point across, I would agree with Mr Patterico. However, that misses the point. Regardless of the language used, the Ministry of Perpetual Outrage will find a way to twist one’s statements to fit their agenda. One can either accept that as fact, moderate their language, and hope for the best, or one can stand up and say “That’s not what I meant and you bloody well know it!” I prefer the latter.

  7. That’s a nice summation Dan.

    I’ve pondered going the motivating question route to try to get to the bottom of the two positions, with one asking something along the lines of “How did we get here? How came we to this pass (Over the long run of things)?” and the other asking “How can we get out of here soonest? What do we do this very next minute that will make a difference in our fate?” I’m not yet sure that such an analysis would hold up, however.

  8. The problem with Patterico on this issue is he kept talking past Jeff’s questions. Whatever.

    I get not every conservative likes Rush. Hell, I do not listen to him that often and when I do I often disagree. That much said, Rush is no Coulter (beyond the fact that Coulter has a bigger cock than Rush). Rush is also a true believer in what he speaks about and a shameless self promoter. Coulter is
    a conservative Ru Paul.

    Of course there are different ways to make your point. I suspect George Will is not going to turn to George Stephanopoulos or Cokie Roberts anytime soon and tell them to suck his cock when they annoys him. Well at least not on camera and live lead.

    Rush likes to push the envelope on PC, if only to show that conservatives get judged at a far different standard than those on the left. This whole Begala/Carville/Emanuel Rush plan to divert negative attention from Barack by going after Rush is also interesting too.

    So when Rush says something like he hopes “Obama fails” and then clarifies it about 1000 times that he means Obama’s policies, shouldn’t we call the MSM on their hypocrisy when they try to spin that for their own ideological agenda?

  9. With stuff like this: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/19722.html posing as “news” it is quite obvious what we call the MSM is deliberatly slandering anyone they view as on the “right”. Twisting words is tame by comparision of what happened in the last election to Palin.

  10. …or one can stand up and say “That’s not what I meant and you bloody well know it!”

    When one of this site’s erstwhile trolls (some disagree about her trollishness but this is my opinion I’m speaking) accused me of homophobia, I never even contemplated blaming myself for her disingenuous misinterpretation of what I said. And I recall quite plainly that those others who expressed their own opinion on the question sided with me.

    So: damn right, Big D. Damn right.

  11. Excellent post, Dan.

    I “get” Patterico completely, and I think he happens to be mistaken about how one should react to the very real playground taint that attaches to party goals if Rush Limbaugh can be diminished. He gives them a a hook to hang their hat on, says Patterico, and it’s better just to say straight out in reasonable fashion your opposition to objectionable things about Obama policy or policy aims, with argument and fact without bringing any rhetorical tricks or fire into the situation. He argues Rush invites criticism and a particular kind of derailing of other persons legitimate criticism. We don’t want to be misunderstood after all.

    I say the proper way to react to criticism of Rush Limbaugh, if it’s worth addressing at all, is to use it to focus on why Obama should fail, and how he should fail.
    That to react with embarassment or clucking about tone is stupid and self-defeating, since he’s a conservative VOICE, not the voice of conservatives, and if Patterico want redirection of attention he ought to go on with , his tone is to be expected, that’s his job, but here’s the real reasons he is right….. and go on to be a relentless broken record in his very own way about Mr. Obama’s departures from the right path.

    He thinks the metaphorical soft-middle jury will be offended by Rush and his blunt tone that seems disrespectful of his station and the man they voted for. I say you don’t cluck over the “tone”, you change it by starting in talking, and say Rush can say what he likes. This is a free country. This is what I say……. here’s why and where and how Obama ought to fail….

  12. Again, though can’t both be true? Can we not be careful not to create deliberate offense, use language as precisely and winsomely as possible, yet not collapse out of the fear of being misunderstood?

  13. I think all in all it was a very good and healthy discussion but we’re still living in a dark and fetid dirty socialist telepromptocracy though. We just have to muddle through and be kind to each other except not the dirty socialists.

  14. Rush thanks everyone for supporting him, some by name, others by summation of their action(s).

    Not saying he’s also mentioned Patterico..

    These people, I’m in their debt. I thank them very much. I’m in their debt and I thank them very much for this because it’s times like this where you find out where your friends are. It’s times like this where you find out who the cowards are, who either go underground, head to the tall grass or either go to the other side and say, “I think the other side is going to win this.”

  15. The question, Christopher, is who is to determine what constitutes civil under a particular set of circumstances? And we have plenty of evidence to tell us that allowing the PC putzes to do it is a very, very losing strategy. And fuck their “outrage.”

  16. telepromptocracy

    that.is.so.good.

    Stealing, promptly.

  17. Christopher, maybe think back on Lenin’s “The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we’ll hang them.” statement. I think that goes to the point here.

  18. …if you reward victimhood by according it this special status and esteem, then you incentivize it, in the parlance and the parliament of our betters.”

    This is spot on Dan. And, for all of the hate the left has for the notion of American exceptionalism, they openly pander to, and in fact create, a feeling of social and cultural minority subculture exceptionalism, and the concomitant entitlement mentality for those same folks…

    …but let us never lose sight of the fact that some of our adversaries are lying dogs, and that for them this is a game that needs to be jobbed, but that has terrible consequences for our world and for our values.”

    The only consequence that our political adversaries are interested in is the sheer will to power. That they are only focused on the power of governance for a kind of benevolant tyranny, in their own minds, is evident in the fact that they are willing to trade all the notions of ethics, honor, and integrity, that have devoloped over the continuum of human hitory and resort to “jobbing” the system as you say. It is fundamentally an Alinsky technique, or the old deep mole, cold war communist one…

    I hate to genralize about anyone, and do not know Patterico as well as many here do, but I have a lot of insight into the “legal business” from my wife the NYC ADA. The idea of “making a deal” is a fundamental tenet in that profession. Especially in today’s society, there seem to be no absolutes with respect to the law. With few exceptions, bargains are always made…

    So this milieu may drive this kind of mindset, although I won’t discount that a great number of people with a naturally conciliatory disposition may simply do well in today’s legal system. That said, the wife’s ferocious and no deal maker when it comes to scofflaws, which is probably why she’s a prosecuter in the division that deals with corrupt officials…

    Deals have been made during crucial moments in our nations history since it’s founding; to wit I proffer Franklin’s admonition of the Constitutional convention during the impasse over slavery, when he reminded the conferees that they had been sent their to confer and compromise, not to simply conflict. On the other hand, we’re all lucky that Lincoln wouldn’t accept the secessions that ultimately led to the Civil war. Each situation is different; although I must say that only one other crisis was exploited for the advancement of any political or social agenda-the great depression…

    Then too, was a crisis used to try and fundamentally change the nature of our government, and it’s relationship to society; moving away from individual liberty and towards collectivism, away from a republic and more towards a populist democracy. And curiously, both were striving to instill a benevolent despotism that would rely for political power on a constituency thay were effectively buying with public tax money; thus violating one of Franklin’s pearls of wisdom, “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic”…

    That is why Patterico is mistaken about compromise in this circumstance. Not only because what we are being asked to compromise is the extent to which our adversaries will be able to “job” the system for their benefit, but indeed on our very liberty and the structure our nation has used to guarantee that for mor4e than 200 years.

    They may call us all extremists for being “unwilling to comprimise”. But I remind them of the words of Barry Goldwater:

    “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”

    ’nuff said

  19. Dan – Thanks for the post. You’re showing a glimmer of the position I was taking that Jeff and Pat were talking past each other. The same thing happened during the “Good Man” kerfuffle. It’s almost like thay need a translator or interpreter to talk to each other, intentionally or not. As a long-time reader and commenter at both sites, I think I understand the positions of bith bloggers. Shit, you can’t read Jeff’s work for so long and not understand his positions on language, intentionalism and the left’s hijacking of meaning.

    Patterico’s not a sell-out artist that some people claim he is here. It’s obvious that commenters like BigD and Joe don’t want to take the time to try to understand what he is saying and instead for whatever reason insist on being spoonfed like leftist morons.

    Thr first sentence of Jeff’s reply to Patterico after quoting his post was a glib of an argument not made by Patterico:

    “In suggesting that the trouble here is that Republicans are straddled with the burden of having to explain Limbaugh’s nuance, Patterico (and Allah) are not only conceding the linguistic ground to the left, they are now actually helping perpetuate what, at least on Patterico’s part, he knows to be a lie**….”

    Although I’m not particularly happy with Patterico’s position on Limbaugh, I didn’t recognize the position Jeff described.

    Jeff was suggesting a deescalation of hostilities over at Patterico’s, which I think is a good idea.

  20. Christopher, I’m willing to let people speak for themselves, and would point out that frankness has its merits, and even negative attention is attention. If you follow up provocation with reasonableness, I have to tell you that does worm into people’s brains. Second-guessing might not be admitted but it does begin. It gives permission to those already thinking along those lines to start arguing in support of the proposition.

    What would gentlemen wish, what would they have? I suspect, myself, that Patterico is still hung up on being a “good loser”.

  21. Isn’t this kinda like team killing on Call of Duty?

  22. I am referring to people lining up to kick Limbaugh as a way of showing they are “one of the good ones”.

  23. Patterico’s not a sell-out artist that some people claim he is here. It’s obvious that commenters like BigD and Joe don’t want to take the time to try to understand what he is saying and instead for whatever reason insist on being spoonfed like leftist morons.

    Don’t you want to deescallate this daleyrocks? I am a big fan of Patterico and I generally agree with him. I also agreed with Patterico on his CPAC comments about Coulter and conservatives going off on Obama’s nationality (given the guy is already elected, the later argument is a bit lame at this point). If you want to accuse me of posting Jeff’s comments on Patterico’s site, fair enough, I have been often guilty of stiring the pot. But I did so to see if Pat would acatually respond to Jeff’s comments. Even you acknowledged they were talking past one another. If I did not want to understand Patterico’s position, I would not have bothered.

  24. >>Can we not be careful not to create deliberate offense, use language as precisely and winsomely as possible, yet not collapse out of the fear of being misunderstood?

    Well, think a bit on the recent UK gifts kerfuffle.

    Baldilocks says that Obama’s use of the ‘language of gifts’ was a deliberate insult for historical wrong-doing on the part of the British.

    Do the Brits have any right to be outraged? Were any of the people involved responsible for the alleged crimes or themselves victimised? Was that the appropriate time and place for signalling grievance?

    How are they playing by the rules you think we should play by?

  25. And daleyrocks, I never called Patterico a “sell out artist.” I do not believe that either.

  26. “Patterico’s not a sell-out artist that some people claim he is here.”

    I don’t recall ever calling him that, Daleyrocks. What I said was that moderating your language to fit the audience is a losing strategy. I get what Patterico is trying to say, I just think he is mistaken. Those who want to be outraged will find reason no matter how carefully you craft your argument.

    Oh, and just because we disagree does not mean either you or I have to denigrate the other. I am not being spoonfed and neither are you. My opinions are my own.

  27. And here is a CNN host comparing Republicans to Nazis. Without, as opposed to Limbaugh, qualification or explanation.

    “They all hate you.”

  28. “Don’t you want to deescallate this daleyrocks?”

    Joe – You mean along the the lines of your calls for further explanations at the beginning of the thread, moron?

  29. I don’t hate you Sarah.

  30. One of the best defenses of Rush out there:

    What’s going on? “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” said chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. “This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before.”

    Things. Now we know what they are. The markets’ recent precipitous decline is a reaction not just to the absence of any plausible bank rescue plan, but also to the suspicion that Obama sees the continuing financial crisis as usefully creating the psychological conditions — the sense of crisis bordering on fear-itself panic — for enacting his “Big Bang” agenda to federalize and/or socialize health care, education and energy, the commanding heights of post-industrial society.

    Clever politics, but intellectually dishonest to the core. Health, education and energy — worthy and weighty as they may be — are not the cause of our financial collapse. And they are not the cure. The fraudulent claim that they are both cause and cure is the rhetorical device by which an ambitious president intends to enact the most radical agenda of social transformation seen in our lifetime.

    And he never even mentions Rush Limbaugh, he does not have to, the emphasis is where it should be…

  31. Comment by daleyrocks on 3/7 @ 11:17 am #

    “Don’t you want to deescallate this daleyrocks?”

    Joe – You mean along the the lines of your calls for further explanations at the beginning of the thread, moron?

    This tread? Blow me.

    If you have a specific comment you are referring to, let me know and I will respond. Are you being disingenous or incompetent?

  32. Excuse me daleyrocks: “This thread? Blow me.”

  33. Oh Mr, Pink, I’m glad.

    That was, of course, reference to the Happyfeet screed of wonder.

  34. Joe you must be the author of “How to Make Friends and Influence People”.

    BTW am I the only one stupid enough to be working today it is awesome outside.

  35. HA, Screed of Wonder. I love that. On my blog it goes.

  36. Comment by Mr. Pink on 3/7 @ 11:31 am #

    Joe you must be the author of “How to Make Friends and Influence People”.

    BTW am I the only one stupid enough to be working today it is awesome outside.

    I am a piker compared to Jeff on that subject.

    You are right, there is yard work to be done. I am not sure what daleyrocks is talking about specifically, but when he went down that road, what the hell, I followed with an insult right back.

  37. Mr Pink, it’s not awesome here … 39, gray and rainy. Yuck. Plus, all the global warming melted and I can see all the crap in my yard that my dog has stolen and dragged outside.

  38. It’s in the low 40s here, which means it feels positively balmy. I’m going to go for a walk with Aidan.

  39. If it weren’t overcast (and rainy) it would be nice. It is nap weather, but I’m trying to rouse myself to go to the gym.

  40. Yard work. Can I take a break, please? I’ve had a backhoe here since 6:30 AM, I’ve hauled off 3 loads of dirt, tree stumps and tree particulates, and It’s Break Time. (Oh, and 70 degrees wonderfully fahrenheit.. )

  41. Here in Northern VA it is a beautiful 75. Too bad I am shoved in a a cubicle that is slowly killing off my manhood day by day. I used to walk around with a freakin machinegun in my hands now look at me, trolling the internet for useless shit to look at so my day goes by quicker. Recieving emails and memo’s about office policy and hearing the person in the cubicle next to me on the phone bitching about her life which is even more boring than mine has become.

    Wow that was depressing.

  42. hmmm, 75 here currently. but I’ll have rehearsal most of the rest of the day. so no dog walking.

  43. I’ve been lopping whips from the prickley, chokey bushes that tipped over into my driveway with recent snow. It’s 78 degrees and sunny. A very Richmond weather pattern.
    I lopped this one big branch and dead squirrel fell on my head. No, it really fell on my head.

    When my hair’s dry I’m going window shopping. Maybe get something yellow. It’s SPRING!

  44. Okay, I am going out now (cover my back if daleyrock tries to misrepresent me):

    With Clinton we got high taxes (bad) but balanced budgets imposed by the spending caps in Congress (good). With Bush we got tax cuts (good) but deficits (bad). With Obama we get tax hikes (bad) and astronomical deficits (bad).

    Victor Davis Hanson

    But what’s scary about where Obama is leading us is just how pervasive his tax hikes are going to be. Not only are we going to see massive hikes in federal taxes which will be felt by every single American (expiring Bush tax cuts, big new taxes on the energy industry), but the “stimulus” money Obama has sent to the states (which itself must eventually be paid off with big new taxes) is going to create new government that will inevitably have to be supported by new state-level taxes.

    Obama’s policies are going to result in new taxes upon new taxes upon new taxes, and most worrisome of all is that the revenue from those new taxes still isn’t going to reduce our budget deficits or the national debt. Meaning not only are we going to be giving up more to the government, we’re going to slip further into debt along the way.

    Rob

    Given this, isn’t the rational position to want Obama to fail? You can say it different, perhaps you could say it as you want Obama to change from his current path, but the intention is still the same.

  45. 40 and rain. The sky is that beautiful shade of Michigan gray that I love so well. Yard looks like crap but nothing a dumpster and some nice weather in April won’t cure.

    Today I promised to take by better half out to a restaurant in a nearby town. The chef is the protege of a chef we both enjoyed when we were much younger. I hope the food (Mexican) is as good as we remember it to be. Zantac is my appetizer.

  46. Pingback: The only way to win is not to play [Darleen Click]

  47. The thing to remember is that you don’t win a war that’s been going on for 100 years in a single electoral season or single set of tatics. It took a long time to get us where we are now, it will take a long time to get back. Ronald Reagan never backed down to the left in his rhetoric, but he never was insulting, crass, or crude. He didn’t stoop to profanity, he didn’t let other people control the message, and he always commanded the narrative when he spoke. That’s where I think we need to head, neither obsequious fear of offense or deliberate attempt to cause it.

  48. Patterico’s not a sell-out artist that some people claim he is here. It’s obvious that commenters like BigD and Joe don’t want to take the time to try to understand what he is saying and instead for whatever reason insist on being spoonfed like leftist morons.

    Thr first sentence of Jeff’s reply to Patterico after quoting his post was a glib of an argument not made by Patterico:

    “In suggesting that the trouble here is that Republicans are straddled with the burden of having to explain Limbaugh’s nuance, Patterico (and Allah) are not only conceding the linguistic ground to the left, they are now actually helping perpetuate what, at least on Patterico’s part, he knows to be a lie**….”

    Although I’m not particularly happy with Patterico’s position on Limbaugh, I didn’t recognize the position Jeff described.

    That line, to recap, followed from this, which I quoted:

    I know: when [Limbaugh] says he hopes Obama fails, he doesn’t mean he wants to see Americans suffer. He just doesn’t want liberal policies enacted because he thinks they’re bad for the country. I get it. I agree with that.

    But, you know, that’s nuance.

    The problem is, Americans have short attention spans and don’t always do nuance well. Just by writing the title of this post the way I did, I’ll get an angry reaction from some — even though, if you read the post, I haven’t said anything particularly negative about Limbaugh. As Allahpundit says:

    “It’s Republicans who are suffering from having to thread the needle between defending Limbaugh and rejecting the “I want him to fail” rhetoric. What harm has Rush suffered? His stature’s never been greater, as he himself acknowledges right here.”

    Indeed.

    In the quoted portion, we get several admissions and assertions. 1. Patterico “gets” what Rush meant. 2. What Rush said was provocative, and understanding him required nuance. 3. Americans have a short attention span and “don’t do nuance well.” 4. Per Allah, the result of Rush’s provocateurism — coupled with Americans’ general lack of nuance — is that “Republicans […] are suffering from having to thread the needle between defending Limbaugh and rejecting the “I want him to fail” rhetoric.” 5. More, Rush hasn’t suffered from this — only Republicans forced to try to defend him have. 6. To which Patrick agrees: “Indeed.”

    Now let’s look at my response again — the one that “misrepresents” the quote it follows:

    “In suggesting that the trouble here is that Republicans are straddled with the burden of having to explain Limbaugh’s nuance,[2,3,4,5,6] Patterico (and Allah) are not only conceding the linguistic ground to the left, they are now actually helping perpetuate what, at least on Patterico’s part, he knows to be a lie**….[1]”

    Nowhere have I ever argued that there aren’t times for changing rhetorical strategy based on audience, context, etc. In fact, I would argue that of course one needs to do so. But the context here was a conservative radio host being asked to give preemptive support to a man who he identifies as a threat to our system of government. Further, the host has an established style. And his audience expects a certain kind of formulation. If anything, Limbaugh matched his utterance precisely to his intended audience(s). And I say audiences because, like Howard Stern, Rush knows that much of his audience is those that hate him and are looking to try to take his words out of context. Does he bait them to do so? Of course. Is that a winning strategy? For him it’s been. But what Patterico wants to know is, is this a winning strategy for Republicans and conservatives?

    His answer is no — and in making that argument, he is essentially saying that Rush Limbaugh is either 1) doing his job poorly as a voice for conservatism, at least in this instance; and 2) Patterico thinks there is a better way for Rush to do that job.

    This is a question of tactics and taste, for Patterico — and nowhwere have I made the claim that those aren’t valid concerns.

    Still, my post links two instances — Bill Bennett’s “racism” problem, even though he clearly tried very hard to frame his argument in a way where it couldn’t be taken out of context; and Tony Snow’s use of “tar baby”, wherein his accusers literally admitted to knowing that he meant nothing racial by the use of the phrase, which has several established meanings.

    In both instances, the left was able to take meaning and resignify it a way that it would be used to taint conservatives with racism. And in both cases they should not have been allowed to do so — because that is not how language works, unless WE agree to allow it to work that way. And if we do, we cede the grounds of meaning to those who would presume to tell us what it is we mean.

    In the case of Limbaugh, might he have used a more diplomatic approach? Naturally. Would a different approach have proven more productive for conservatism, or more helpful to Republicans? That’s debatable: from my perspective, anything that shines a light on the way the left coopts meaning is useful. From Rush’s perspective, it builds his brand. Patterico and Allah think Rush’s utterance, in this instance, made things difficult.

    Fine.

    But then, I never said that Patterico and others were ceding ground to the left intentionally or even knowingly. What I’m arguing is that the impetus for questioning the way Rush delivered the line is the concern that his doing so makes it difficult to defend him, because it requires nuance to get around what we know the left will do with such an utterance. And that could be avoided.

    My contention is there are several ways to avoid such a thing. Patterico and Allah illustrate one such way — a kind of self-editing in the utterance. But that is really up to the speaker — and, because none of us are Rush Limbaugh, we aren’t responsible for his meaning or way of making his point.

    The other — and to my mind, proper — way to avoid this kind of discomfort is to point out that Rush speaks for himself, and that his meaning was clear. He meant what he meant.

    If you would like then to argue about whether what he meant is a valid wish, let’s do so. But what we REFUSE TO ACCEPT is any formulation of Rush Limbaugh’s words that don’t respect his intent. Which is precisely what the media is requiring us to address: their refiguring of Rush’s statement, cropped and edited in a way that is most suggestive of nefariousness on his part — and formulated that way intentionally to put us on the defensive.

    As the Bennett and Snow examples show, ANYTHING can be excerpted and used in this way — precisely because we allow it to be by giving credence to a certain idea of interpretation that is, by its very nature, incoherent, and also by its very nature undermines the common ground for meaning, and so opens up discourse to meaning by will and consensus of motivated groups who simply insist the loudest.

    This is not how language works, and to accept those premises is necessarily to cede ground. Given that the only reason we are concerned about Rush’s tone is that we fear we’ll have to explain ourselves to unnuanced Americans once the press is able to formulate his statement in a way that suits them, it is my argument that it is best to stop the latter than to worry ourselves over the former.

    The former is a tactic. The latter is is the strategy. And it is the strategy that needs to be defeated.

    In short, we are happy to have a discussion about what he MEANT, if that’s something that needs discussing (and of course, further, we are under no obligation to do so: Steele can just tell people to ask Rush about what Rush said, because he’s quite capable of explaining it); but we will no longer — and SHOULD NO LONGER — dignify questions that begin by taking us out of context.

    And rather than worry that because unnuanced Americans will buy into such dishonest formulations, we should alter our formulations (which the Bennett and Snow examples prove is a losing strategy), it is time instead to insist that the dishonest formulations be treated as such, and called out as such, so that it becomes unproductive for the media to continue the practice.

    To allow the first, as a pragmatic strategy for short-term gains, only delays the inevitable. And so to select that method is to, however unwittingly and with however noble an intent, to cede to an idea of language that can only lead to liberal fascism or, in today’s terms, “progressivism”.

    As OUTLAWS, we’ll be part of the solution.

  49. I don’t know how to reach you on this issue, Christopher. Maybe this would help.

  50. Jeff–#48 is very well said. I wonder if Patterico will directly address it.

  51. Nicely done. Jeff. But what do I know? I’m just a spoonfed moron.

  52. Christopher Taylor

    No disrespect but Reagan was reviled, mocked, and demonized during his Presidency and even after his death. True, Reagan attempted to control his own narrative and his skills he honed as an actor and pitchman faired him better than most with a hostile press.

    But notice the weird schizophrenia even today in the MSM about Reagan … lukewarm praise of him as a “great communicator” only when pimping Obama as a better one, and the increasing glee that Reagan’s ideas are being dismantled and dismissed by Obama. Even Reagan’s historical accomplishments are being revised by some as the revisionist screed “Tear down this myth” is gleefully touted.

    The problem with Noonan, Frum, Brooks, et al, is not rhetorical … we non-leftists can be as polite and unoffensive as we like, it is our ideology that the Left wants silenced. Pet cocktail-conservatives like Frum, et al, are demanding the conservative hoi poloi get with the program and just shut up about ideals … Frum just attempts to say it is about language.

    He is wrong, he knows it, and that’s why he shouts.

    I’ll have none of it.

  53. Dan said: The question, Christopher, is who is to determine what constitutes civil under a particular set of circumstances? And we have plenty of evidence to tell us that allowing the PC putzes to do it is a very, very losing strategy. And fuck their “outrage.”

    ———————————————————————

    This is the whole thing, in a nutshell, from my POV.

    I understand that Patterico believes that Rush was being, “deliberately provocative,” but to me the core of the issue is that no matter what Rush says, there will be outrage from the left, even if it’s feigned.

    To sit around doing our best to give them the least amount of “fodder” for their “outrage” is a futile effort, and I also agree with JeffG that it plays right into the left’s hands in allowing THEM to define what can and can not be said.

  54. Whether Americans “get” nuance or not, Rush Limbaugh’s audience numbers are way up – to 25 million from 15 million – according to Howard Kurtz. Limbaugh says his entire year of ad spots may be sold out by the end of March. If Americans hate hearing someone say he hopes Obama will lose, this would not be happening.

    And Rahm Emmanuel may have just helped the ground shift under his master.

  55. …plays right into the left’s hands in allowing THEM to define what can and can not be said.

    But worse yet and a distinction to bear foremost, allowing them to define what you meant by what you just said.

  56. Nice, in-your-face-but-amusing criticism of our fine administration’s fiscal plans.

  57. ‘telepromptocracy’

    Dude that is, like, so stolen.

    “American Teleprompter, Don’t Leave Home Without It!”

  58. “He thinks the metaphorical soft-middle jury will be offended by Rush and his blunt tone that seems disrespectful of his station and the man they voted for.”

    No, it’s not an issue of tone in this case, and if I had all weekend to do so I could probably go to the other thread and cite you a dozen examples where I said that.

    I don’t want to respond to Jeff’s argument today for the same reason I didn’t want to respond to Jeff’s arguments (and yes, pointedly ignored them) during the last couple of days. Namely, when we talk to each other directly, everything spirals downward and ends ugly. I don’t know why that is, honestly, but it happened during the “good man” debates and it happened last night in a thread that was deleted because it was such a trainwreck. I’m not lobbying for that thread to be restored, but had you read it you would understand.

    I don’t ignore Jeff because I’m scared to confront his ideas. I ignore Jeff because I know how things go when I respond to him. I’m not laying blame here, I’m just saying it happens.

    As for the rest of you, every time daleyrocks comes on here he seems to understand my position better than anyone. He’s a regular reader of mine and I think he’s reading what I’m actually saying.

    I find it highly ironic that everyone here seems to think that, in order to understand what Rush means, you have to listen to what Rush says he means, and give that great weight in interpreting his remarks — yet for some reason, when I tell you what I mean, nobody seems to give my statements any weight in interpreting my remarks. If I say this is not a matter of tone, or being blunt, then five comments later someone will say: “But Patterico, we don’t want to have to modulate our tone. We want to be able to be blunt.” If I say: “I want people to say what they believe with integrity,” people will say: “I don’t want to cede my right to say what I believe. I’ll keep my integrity, thanks very much.” And I’ll think: why did I bother saying anything?

    I think I could discuss this with Dan, and I’d be happy to do it here. I think Dan doesn’t necessarily understand me 100%, but I feel like he’ll listen to me. Dan? You up for that?

    If so, I’d like to start with a question I asked yesterday, since we’re talking about the meaning of Rush’s words:

    Now, Rush obviously doesn’t want to see Americans suffer. He just doesn’t want Obama’s policies enacted because he thinks they are bad for the country. However, his line could have meant one of two things:

    * Rush opposes President Obama’s policies, and feels that they are likely to lead to more suffering. He hopes Obama’s policies are never enacted to begin with. However, if they are enacted, as seems likely, he wants to see them succeed. He wants the economy to do well. He doesn’t want Americans out of work.

    * Rush opposes President Obama’s policies, and feels that they are likely to lead to more suffering. So, even if the policies do get enacted, Rush still wants them to fail. This is not because Rush wants more suffering for the American people. But he feels that, in the long run, the quick and dramatic failure of the policies might lead to Rush’s own proposed policies being adopted: namely, spending less and employing the free market. In the long run, this would be best for America.

    You can read Rush’s actual words and see which interpretation you think is right. I happen to think it’s the former, but it’s not crystal clear. He says he wants Obama to fail because he thinks Obama’s policies will be bad for the country. But give me a quote that clearly says which of the above interpretations is right.

    I’ve had people tell me I need to disengage from this board entirely, because of the likely downward spiral, but I really want to talk about these issues. I feel like I can talk about them with Dan without it turning into a downward spiral. So for the time being, I’m only going to talk to Dan. It’s not that I’m ignoring the ideas that others bring up; Dan can throw any idea he wants at me, including any idea or question from anyone on the board. But I want to talk to Dan only, just to ensure that the discussion doesn’t turn ugly. I know it won’t with him.

  59. Look, I get what Patterico is saying. I just disagree.

  60. The “let’s be civil” camp has, basically, two arguments, and Patrick has exercised both of them, but let’s lay them out plain:

    1) Civil discourse is necessary in order to resolve controversy;
    2) “Middle-of-the-road” voters are turned off by the nastiness and go to the Other Guys.

    No. 1 is absolutely true, of course — but it’s irrelevant in the face of an opponent who doesn’t want to “resolve” anything except by getting everybody to accept their fiat.

    NUMBER TWO IS FALSE. Oh, I can see it being accepted by a Michael Steele or some other inside-the-Beltway or inside-the-system politician, and I can see how Frey, trapped in the LA culture (and tending to think no.1 is important, because of his age and training) would believe it true, but it isn’t.

    There are a substantial number of people who are not merely willing to accept conservative arguments but hungry for them, and the more combative the better — because if it isn’t combative, it gives the impression of yielding and lots of people are sick of just giving in. A plain-speaking, combative stance versus the rolling tide of pseudoLeftist privilege-seeking is what is needed, not something to avoid out of the perceived giving of offense.

    Evidence? Rush’s audience numbers, along with those of other conservative talk radio folks — dammit, Don Imus now has a contract with one of the country-oriented cable/satellite networks; they play an hour of his show every morning, never mind that it’s New York-centric. Andrew Breitbart. Even, may God change their pointy black souls, the folks at PJM. Fox’s numbers are up, too. They are getting an audience.

    A soft answer turneth away TV coverage. That’s why, while I fully endorse Jeff’s efforts at analysis, I say that the important thing is to keep it short, pithy, and accurate — “that’s a damn lie” is much better than a long, detailed analysis of precisely what the lie is, because it fits in a sound byte. I keep saying, the Media and MSM “news” organizations are in big, big trouble. What we need to do is find ways to hand them some red meat. Thousand-word analyses are not just well and good, they’re necessary, but we also need a whole host of slogans that lead up to them.

    I don’t have time to do Twitter, but maybe it’ll be good practice. 140 characters is quite sound-bytey, and maybe something can be invented.

    Which is all for today for me, sorry to say. See you Monday.

    Regards,
    Ric

  61. Sometimes when we touch it’s the honesty what’s too much I think.

  62. I find it highly ironic that everyone here seems to think that, in order to understand what Rush means, you have to listen to what Rush says he means, and give that great weight in interpreting his remarks — yet for some reason, when I tell you what I mean, nobody seems to give my statements any weight in interpreting my remarks. If I say this is not a matter of tone, or being blunt, then five comments later someone will say: “But Patterico, we don’t want to have to modulate our tone. We want to be able to be blunt.” If I say: “I want people to say what they believe with integrity,” people will say: “I don’t want to cede my right to say what I believe. I’ll keep my integrity, thanks very much.” And I’ll think: why did I bother saying anything?

    This is key, Pat. It lies at the very heart of the questions on the table. Keep at it please, until hopefully it is sorted out to everyone’s satisfaction, most especially, yours.

  63. I’m ceding my argument to Happyfeet.

  64. Not enough has been made of this:

    It’s Republicans who are suffering from having to thread the needle between defending Limbaugh and rejecting the “I want him to fail” rhetoric.

    This entire formulation is dishonest and, yes, sold out.

    No one, especially “Republicans,” has to reject this “rhetoric.” Any such feeling of necessity is all on its haver. There are infinite gradations of other-than-rejection available to the so-“suffering,” unless relief can only be had from outside, from those who demand rejection in exchange. Who are they? Not you.

    And who’s “suffering?” I don’t see any. There’s some ugly reveling in this chance to make a show of being one of the good ones (Patterico’s being the ugliest, because he’s chosen an extra target for “Rule 12”-ing), but no “suffering.”

    And no one who points to this formulation is doing what it says, “defending Limbaugh.” They’re just attacking him more convolutedly or second-handedly than his declared enemies are — because their motives are more embarrassing.

    I just think that he’s wrong about this.

    He’s not even wrong. He doesn’t answer Jeff’s arguments because he’s not arguing. He’s making a show, and it’s made. That he made it here, too, was only to add insult to self-congratulation.

    (As see above, again, as if we don’t know.)

  65. My little brother is an army officer and he looks at things that way; and my big brother looks at things a certain way because he is a deputy sheriff (I get his viewpoint because I worked in a courtroom with other deputies).

    Jeff looks at things his way because he is trained to do so, and it is interesting to get his perspective because it isn’t mine. I am a lawyer; I look at things through that lens, and I analyze things that way. That is my training and I react to my training and my experience. When I am doing work for the Coast Guard I look at things through that perspective.

    Sometimes it is the wrong way of looking at things when another lens would be more appropriate. I just have to remember to change lenses, which isn’t easy.

  66. About the “two choices” – It would be closer to the latter, but there must be more choices, because it’s not all about “suffering” of American people. It’s about liberty, self-government, self sufficiency &c, and not so much protection from suffering. A natural consequence is innovation, expansion, wealth creation, but at bottom its about protecting individual rights, choice, liberty from grifter tyrants who know what’s best for me. I don’t want government deciding and nannying my choices to protect me, , even if they guess right.

    I want him to fail and not just because my portfolio is decimated. Not because I’m a sore loser. But because his entire raison d’etre is to wrangle away that which is most precious from me. I thank him for my share of the favor, but I don’t like his way of saving Americans from themselves.

  67. Whether Reagan was reviled and hated or not in the press is truly irrelevant: anyone who is to the right of Chavez will be. The point is that he reached beyond the press, ignored their hate, talked to the average American, appealed to and lifted them up with his words and ideas, and in doing so ruined the legacy media’s power. It doesn’t matter what we say, the media will hate us. The point is to say what we do well and courageously without worrying about the press.

    See, the fact that weak and easily led people show themselves to be sheep is irrelevant to what we need to do as conservatives. The fact that the best way to act (ethically) is often the poorest way to act (pragmatically – in the short run) is also irrelevant. Do what is right, and be prepared to face the consequences. Ignore the idiots who are insane or too foolish to reach, be a figure of integrity and wisdom, and over time the world will turn to you in times of need. Conservatives (or, if you will, classic liberals) are the only adults in the political arena and in a culture of childish hedonism, that stands out in an unattractive way.

    Yet in times of crisis and fear, danger and catastrophe, people stop looking toward entertainment and comfort for answers and start looking for adults. If conservatives stoop to the level of the children, we lose that distinctiveness. If we stand above that, then we lose in the short term, but over time will be established and trustworthy.

    Christians face this every day in modern society, it’s a question of being sure, confident, and bold, yet charitable, winsome, and discerning.

  68. [Limbaugh’s] line could have meant one of two things:

    –which Patterico, bless him, follows up by giving concrete suggestions. Why didn’t Rush do that?

    Because he knows better. Patrick, your suggestions are analytical, they’re correct, they’re even very likely “what Rush meant” — but they have nothing to do with the present situation, in which the problem is not getting quoted correctly, it’s getting quoted at all. That is where you fail, in my opinion, to get where you’re going. We’re too far behind start for civil discourse or analytical formulations to get us anywhere. We need to have the verbal equivalent of Molotov cocktails, though perhaps not go so far as mad-bomber equivalents. If we try to analyze, they’ll just slogan right over top and wipe it out. “I hope Obama fails” is four words. Your shortest version is something like a hundred. Which one is gonna show up on the 7 O’Clock News?

    Regards,
    Ric

  69. Pat, Jeff, here’s what I used to tell my two boys:

    “Fight nice!”

  70. You say it’s not about “tone” (even Daleyrocks said it was), and you have argued repeatedly about “offending” and analogised that you don’t want to offend the jury lest they ignore your message. Please reconcile the two

  71. See, I’m not calling for us to be middle of the road nice guys. I’m not calling for us to be rebels who scream “UP YOURS” to the popular culture. I’m calling for a third way that avoids both paths.

  72. December 1980, Reagan just elected. Not in office yet.

    The left and the media start the war. No “honeymoon” then.

  73. I thought occured to me after I hit ‘say it’. I just had a training day with the Coast Guard in ‘Team Coordination Training’ – TCT. This is to increase awareness of accidents, and how to deliberately prevent them through mission assessment, equipment and personnel assessment, situational awareness, fatigue, etc. I take this course when ever it is offered, and I have started using it to judge situations in my normal life. Just an example of using another lens to see something I otherwise wouldn’t see.

  74. I’m lost, Carin. I been lost from the beginning. I guess my question would be who for real are the people that don’t know that people what aren’t socialists duh of course want this dirty socialist piece of shit to fail? I’m not on Team Dirty Socialist. Mr. Limbaugh is not on Team Dirty Socialist. Mr. Patterico, he is not on Team Dirty Socialist. Who is on Team Dirty Socialist is meya and Jessica Alba and thor and everyone at NPR and alphie and greasey union thugs and George Soros. These people are not lost at all cause they know that dirty socialism is a zero sum game. For every chalk mark in the dirty socialist win column there’s a concomitant loss what has to be entered in the people what love America column.

    Here is where I think I am. I think a lot of times when people are intemperate it makes other people wonder hey why is that person being intemperate. That can be a good thing. But also I think however much NPR and fellow traveler dirty socialist propagandists fetishize the 60s, what they do not want to do is have to start reporting about the great civil unrest what is a hallmark of our era. They don’t want to report about how people are angry and lashing out at each other and that the tone of our discourse has never been so low. If I have anything to do with it though that’s exactly what those bitches will be reporting.

  75. SarahW, thank you for your comment at #66. That is the nub of the political question so easily glossed over, everywhere. We all need the occasional slap to the face – wake up people! pay attention to these things! they are not free and can disappear in a heartbeat! – for like the pilots Eastern flight 401 flown into the ground in the Everglades in ’72 while they diddled with a malfunctioning indicator lamp, we can get wrapped up in relatively unimportant details while the bigger picture fades into obscurity.

  76. Ric, up there, brings up the points that’s been in my mind this whole time. It doesn’t matter whether we speak with integrity. Because our arguments are not COVERED with integrity by the dirty socialists in the media.

    I think THIS is “the place” from which many here are coming from. We’re sick and tired of being sick and tired of the way the media portrays us and we don’t want to play that game anymore.

    Politics is HARD. Understanding political aruments, beyond the bumper sticker level, is beyond (I’m afraid) the vast amount of voters. People hear “I want Obama to fail” and most people take a side. All this hand-wringing is … a lie. Everyone knows what he meant, even those reporting the lie. No one is fooled. Those making the claim that Rush wants the country to fail ’cause he’s so partisian are lying. They know better.

  77. All I know, is when I’m down, I’m gonna read Happy’s Screed of Wonder. Best. Comment. Ever. Honestly, bravo.

  78. Dan, I hope you’re around, because I do want to discuss this. My starting point is to ask what he meant. I’m taking a poll at my site on that issue, here. I’d be interested in your answer.

  79. Last seen, Dan was taking a walk with his kid. You’re stuck with us.

  80. Pat, here is Limbaugh himself speaking yesterday on his show, expanding on his remark about failure:

    **RUSH: But I apologize. I apologize for calling you Obama voters dummkopfs. I know you want the best for America, except for the rich, as you can get. I apologize for calling you Looney Tunes. But I do have a serious question. Of course this won’t work. Of course it isn’t gonna work. But why do we want to wait all those years and undergo all of this economic pain and suffering before people realize it? Of course you cannot reward a lack of achievement, you cannot reward inefficiency and have this country prosper and remain a superpower and be able to protect itself and be able to feed itself, you can’t do any of that. But do we want to go through soup lines again? Do people realize this? Do we want to have to go through another terrorist attack that we can’t stop or do anything about in order for people to realize this?

    Of course it won’t work, but I don’t want to wait ten years for people to figure it out. I’d rather spend a lot of time trying to educate people right now that it won’t work and tell ’em why and effect electoral outcomes in 2010 and 2012. But I guess that makes me too combative. I’m sorry, folks. That makes me too combative and too rabble-rousing. So forgive me. I take all that back. Let’s just sit around and suffer together for the eight or ten years it’s going to take for people to figure out how all this doesn’t work, and then we’ll get together and have a party when we start to come out of this.

  81. Dan = Nice, Reasonable, No Downward Spiral.

    Jeff = Outlaw!

    daleyrock = understands Patterico

    Me = pot stirrer

    Carrin = Gets but disagrees with Patterico

    Jeff + Paterico = Downward Spiral

  82. You know, when Joe says my name it sounds more exotic. Do you have a foreign accent?

  83. thanks, Carin! But has anyone seen buttons? He’s gone again I fear. I wanted to answer your poll, Mr. Patterico but when I got there all I wanted to do was paste in psycho’s comment from #64. I think that’s important mostly because there are so many people here that really honestly don’t seem a lot compelled to be rejecting any rhetoric about wanting Baracky to fail fail fail. It’s not enough, not nearly. We need a plan B but the dirty socialists don’t have to have a monopoly on hope I don’t think.

  84. No fan of de-escalation in general, and one prone to the occasional ribald and salty language, I am glad to see the open hostilities between Patterico and Jeff G, my 2 favorite blogger on the innertubes, de-escalating, if you will. Seems better to point out that Barcky is a dirty little socialist that will bring great pain to the US with his silly backwards looking regressive policies.

  85. I miss sugartits. And …

    BOOBIES !

  86. So last night, I am literally on the floor laughing at one of happyfeet’s EPIC comments, and Better Half walks through the room and simply says, “Happyfeet?”

  87. I think Pat’s poll presents a too limited and hence a false choice of Limbaugh’s belief. Limbaugh won’t wish for the failure of Obama’s policies once enacted. He simply believes, a priori if you will, that those policies cannot succeed, so wishing or hoping for another possibility would, for him, be an absurdity. What he hopes is that they are abandoned as soon as is practicable or possible.

  88. Do what is right, and be prepared to face the consequences. Ignore the idiots who are insane or too foolish to reach, be a figure of integrity and wisdom, and over time the world will turn to you in times of need.

    yes, of course.

    Yet in times of crisis and fear, danger and catastrophe, people stop looking toward entertainment and comfort for answers and start looking for adults.

    Yes, of course.

    If conservatives stoop to the level of the children, we lose that distinctiveness.

    This is where you lose me. Who’s advocating that we stoop to the level of children? Indeed, this characterization of what this is all about, is an example of the truth of what Jeff has been arguing. What we’ve been seeing the Left do to all of us to the right of Chavez, we’re now seeing apologistas allegedly in our own camp do to anyone to the right of them.

    If the refusal to buy into the Left’s framing of the debate, is going to be termed “stooping to the level of children” by our own allies, what remains to salvage? All is lost.

    I disagree. All is not lost, and our refusal to buy into the Left’s framing of the debate, is not “stooping to the level of children.” I reject out of hand any attempt to frame it that way.

  89. Sdferr: That was used as an example in TCT class. The pilot lost situational awareness. He got mental tunnel vision.

    In another example a small fishing vessel brokedown and was tied to the receiving ship. A Coast Guard vessel arrived and took the vessel under tow. The vessel took a bow-down attitude, ship water, capsized, and one crew man died.

    There were many mistakes with the tow (wrong size line, improper placement of the line, improper speed, etc.) but the big mistake was Why Tow? The vessel was safely moored, it should have been left right there. Poor analysis of the vessel, the equipment available, the sea conditions, but most importantly the loss of situational awareness; the focus was on the rescue and not realizing no rescue was required.

    I think an analogy can be drawn here with ‘defending Rush’. What is there to defend? He is perfectly capable of defending himself. What does he mean? Ask him. Do I agree with Him? That’s irrelevant, ask me about my own views. Call me a Nazi or rascist? Give Buckley’s response to Gore Vidal.

    Don’t lose situational awareness, do not let events drive you. The ultimate objective is to RTB with the boat and crew, and each with their parts where they were meant to be.

  90. I agree Mikey, the left has only a few tactics, but they require discipline and wisdom to defeat. They use attack nearly every single time, but at times they’ll use deflection, taking you off target, getting you busy arguing minutae or irrelevancies. Who cares if humvees are armored or not, the question was whether Iraq was the right place at the right time. Who cares if President Bush tried to open a locked door he could not have possibly known was locked or not, who cares if Sarah Palin’s kid is pregnant out of wedlock. Those are deflections attempting to avoid any focus on the real topic at hand.

    Most of the time I doubt it is deliberate, they simply aren’t equipped with the logical and rhetorical training to actually debate anything, so they degrade into Oprah Winfrey audience format, shouting carefully memorized talking points and emotionally charged lines. The fault isn’t theirs, its ours for responding.

  91. Yea, I went to do Pat’s poll too, but saved him the trouble by deleting it myself. I thought #2 was a false option, although I believe Rush meant #1. I think you’ve got a false dichotomy there.

  92. It is actually #2, not #1, because Rush knows Obama’s policies will fail. This place does not exist.


  93. Oh I feel so much better now…not really.

    If only incompetence, malice, stupidity, and trashy, low-class behavior were mutually exclusive… but they’re not.

    I’d say all of the above.

  94. I am glad to see the open hostilities… de-escalating

    It’s obvious that commenters like BigD and Joe don’t want to take the time to try to understand what he is saying and instead for whatever reason insist on being spoonfed like leftist morons.

    Jeff was suggesting a deescalation of hostilities over at Patterico’s, which I think is a good idea.

    ~ daleyrocks ~

    As for the rest of you, every time daleyrocks comes on here he seems to understand my position better than anyone. He’s a regular reader of mine and I think he’s reading what I’m actually saying.

    I don’t want to respond to Jeff’s argument today for the same reason I didn’t want to respond to Jeff’s arguments (and yes, pointedly ignored them)…

    ~ Patterico ~

    The devil, you say.

  95. The problem I have with the pragmatism argument is that it doesn’t work. I get what Patterico is saying and to the extent that being needlessly provacative is counterproductive, I agree. However, let’s look at a few examples what pragmatism gave us. Keep in mind that these were done to keep us from losing elections.

    Republicans are ruled by big moneyed fat cats. Let’s pass McCain-Feingold to get money out of politics. (That worked out real well)

    Republicans hate public education. Let’s pass NCLB. (Education has not improved because of it and they still accuse us of hating public education)

    Repubs want Grandma to make the choice between her meds and food. Let’s pass medicare prescription drug coverage. (Billions added to the budget and AARP is still solidly Dem)

    Now, all of the above was done because we thought the Dems would use it as a club to defeat us at the polls. Worked out real well didn’t it. Sad to say that I was convinced that “Compassionate Conservatism” would result in greater success at the polls. I figured if we could just convince people that we weren’t the mean, nasty people they saw on the news, we could draw more to our side. I was wrong. It was all a sop to pragmatism and the result was much bigger government. We lost at the poll anyway!

    No more! Crafting the argument or making concessions does not work. I understand what you are saying, Pat. I’m saying that it doesn’t work.

  96. Thanks Christopher. I do not claim to have all of the answers, I just know what I observe and filter it through my training and experience. The lenses, as it were. I am trying to remember that my lenses limit me

  97. Looks to me as though Pat has come very near to achieving the objective of his poll, which now appears to have been to demonstrate that what Limbaugh initially said was not clear (which of course, Pat has been averring right along in this discussion) and that therefore he is perfectly justified in so claiming. Very neat. Control the circumstances with a muddied and overdetermined choice set and then exclaim, look! Confusion!

  98. I think it could be boiled down to what Mike Hendrix said: Do not accept their premises.

  99. Let me add one more thing. This debate is not only healthy, but necessary. We have had our posteriors handed to us in the last two cycles. Clearly, a change in direction is warranted.

    Also, the debate did not degenerate into ad hominems, with the exception of Daley. This is also encouraging.

    One more observation before I fire up the grill; Happyfeet, you are a damn treasure!

  100. Okay, well, once again, I’ve missed a lot. I guess I’m headed over to Pat’s place to debate.

  101. Ok, I’m gonna go make an iced tea then.

  102. sdferr,

    I gave your comments in particular a fair airing and repeated them in my own comments. I wanted to see how people would answer, however.

    I have acknowledged the third way you and others discussed in an update, and opened up the comments to full discussion.

  103. Quite, I recognized what amounted (to me anyhow) as your generosity Pat, in allowing me to have my say there. And further, I have no problem (again, for myself) with your ever deleting whatever you may, be they my comments or others. None whatsoever.

  104. And I wasn’t trying to trick anyone. Plenty of people strongly argued one interpretation or the other. OF COURSE it was choice 1, or OBVIOUSLY it was choice 2.

    Which, I am saying, is the downside of a nice, pithy, 4-word phrase. It’s catchy, but people hear what they want to hear — and that includes people who AREN’T trying to twist his words.

  105. Ergo, clarity has its virtues. (And, as I have previously acknowledged to Jeffersonian, getting attention can have its virtues as well.)

  106. I still think your method amounts to a manipulation though Pat, sorry as I am to disagree on that. If you fail to capture Limbaugh’s full intent, in all its convoluted glory going in (and I think you did fail, though again, no shame in that) you will have data skewed every which way coming out. But that’s just me talking there. The very reason I’d objected to the setting of the poll on first seeing it was specifically because I did not see presented before me anything corresponding to what I have taken to be Limbaugh’s intent. My guess would be that John Hitchcock, for one, might agree with me as to that, that is to say, what set off his alarm bells ab initio.

  107. Plenty of people strongly argued one interpretation or the other.

    Which, I am saying, is the downside of a nice, pithy, 4-word phrase.

    It’s the upside, stupid.

  108. Limbaugh is ” needlessly provocative” and yet its “not about tone.” Right.

    Patterico, you still have not reconciled your divorcement of one from the other.

    If what you mean is that he can be as provocative and he pleases, but he ought to be provocative *clearly*, I again think you miss the real utility of that particular provocation.

    The sound bite has penetrating force, and it hardly matters what he meant, if there is A truth to it that ought to be put forward and discussed. It’s the potential for real or feigned misunderstanding , the double, triple, multiple meanings that grab attention, and makes persons look for the follow up. Only the incurious or unpersuadable won’t hear the rest. They’re already lost.

  109. “I still think your method amounts to a manipulation though Pat, sorry as I am to disagree on that. If you fail to capture Limbaugh’s full intent, in all its convoluted glory going in (and I think you did fail, though again, no shame in that) you will have data skewed every which way coming out. But that’s just me talking there. The very reason I’d objected to the setting of the poll on first seeing it was specifically because I did not see presented before me anything corresponding to what I have taken to be Limbaugh’s intent. My guess would be that John Hitchcock, for one, might agree with me as to that, that is to say, what set off his alarm bells ab initio.”

    I have people saying it’s obviously 1 and obviously 2. I updated the post to include the third possibility and I STILL have people saying 1 or 2. If we think what he said is so clear, why are the responses all over the map? If there’s no harm in how he said it, why do we have people passionately espousing utterly opposite interpretations — people who believe they agree with him and AREN’T out to distort his meaning?

  110. SW,

    I feel your pain!

    [sniffles]

  111. a nice, pithy, 4-word phrase

    Why are you here?

  112. If Patrick is not going to answer my arguments, he’s simply not engaging. Period.

    You don’t get to pick who disagrees with you. I’ve expressed repeatedly why I think Patterico’s position is both wrong and dangerous. I’ve laid it out.

    Now, a few people have disagreed, but those people have shown no understanding of my position, and instead have mentioned things about third ways and filters.

    — None of which matters when the foundation for communication is corrupted. The moment you let an “interpretive community” decide on meaning, taking it away from the person assigned with creating it — an author, a speaker, etc., — you have essentially de-centered meaning and surrendered to the worst kind of relativism.

    I’ve been saying, repeatedly, that how you choose to phrase things is not the point. What we need to look at is the reasons why we feel we need to phrase things a certain way. There are a host of potential reasons, naturally, as any writer and orator knows, and playing to one’s audience or hoping to persuade are both reasons to adopt a particular strategy.

    But we are looking beyond that, to the level of how interpretation works. If we allow others to frame our meanings, we cede the ground on which communication itself needs to function. And every time we make an argument that, as in this instance, Rush Limbaugh should have found a better way to say what he wanted to say because Americans are unnuanced and won’t get his meaning (doubtful that his listeners wouldn’t), we have to ask ourselves if this is the case because Rush wasn’t clear (in which case the fault is not theirs; intent can fail to be properly signaled, but that is something easily remedied by an amplification or clarification, in which case we’d still be appealing to Rush’s intent); or if this is the case because somebody has taken his message, changed or altered its context with THE INTENT to alter his meaning, and in so doing, has presumed to give those unnuanced Americans THE WRONG MEANING to which they are then supposed to react.

    As part of the premise in Patterico’s original post, we know that Mr Frey — despite what he’s now saying, and despite these polls and tortured hypotheticals he’s come up with consequently to muddy the waters — “gets it,” in his words. That is, he admitted to understanding what Rush was doing.

    If that’s the case, it follows that Rush’s meaning was clear — and even if it wasn’t then, it has certainly been clarified enough now that we know what he’s saying. And even if we aren’t sure on the level of Patterico’s hypotheticals and attempts to finesse an even further search for nuance, what we DO know is that the way the media is presenting it is not in keeping with what Rush claims he meant, and what, with every iteration I’ve seen of his statement, he has made clear was his intent.

    Which means that the media is taking Rush out of context, and that anyone who argues that Rush could have avoided such by being more clear is fighting both the vast majority of people who heard and understood his statement, and Rush himself. Which means further that they are aiding the media’s bad faith — even if they are doing so for reasons of their own.

    In Patterico’s case — as is evident by his stated agreement with Allah — at least one of the reasons he would prefer Rush not be so provocative, is that it puts Republicans on the defensive. Which buys into the media argument that Rush Limbaugh is the leader of our party, else why would they feel the need to agree or disagree with Rush Limbaugh? Is Rush the leader of the GOP? Do Patterico or Allah think so? If not, why buy into that formulation — one being pushed by a dishonest press pushing a dishonest interpretation of a statement you already claim you understood?

    Saying you wish Rush Limbaugh would be less provocative because you think it would help conservatives is fine. That’s an opinion based on taste and, to a degree, an overall strategy for winning elections.

    But saying that Rush Limbaugh should be less provocative because that will keep the media from portraying what he says in a bad light is to say that it is best for Rush Limbaugh not to be Rush Limbaugh. And that is to ask for the silencing of a provocative voice so as to avoid a leftist tactic that you know to be dishonest, one based on an idea of interpretation that, left unchecked, will lead, inevitably, to liberal fascism.

    This didn’t work when the pragmatists argued the same thing in the case of Bill Bennett — where he was careful to explain precisely in what context he was making his remarks.

    And that’s because we have reached a point now where simply being conservative, the culture has it, precludes you from talking about certain things.

    If one wishes to counsel Limbaugh on his style and make the argument that a less bombastic Limbaugh is better for conservatism, fine. But when one uses as his “evidence” for that argument the suggestion that less bombast will prevent misunderstanding on the part of the American people, one is factoring out the tactics of the media, the very tactics that continue to work, in a vicious cycle, precisely because we continue to attempt to operate within their paradigm.

    Me, I say break the whole thing. And the best way to do that is have conversations like these. And we’re having it (well, at least I am) because somebody said something provocative enough that the press tried to use it in a way they are accustomed to, and enough people on the right are fighting back, calling them liars.

    That’s a good thing.

    ******

    One final thought. If you don’t want to answer my arguments, fine. But in trying to freeze my responses out of the argument, you are essentially trying to control the context. Which makes you no better than the leftwing media, who only considers what they want to and pretends they are addressing an issue that they have only partially considered.

    Bad faith, that.

  113. Let me clarify what I said @109 for the benefit of your question at 110 – it’s precisely the “Oh no he didn’t” kneejerk to his frankness, as double meanings are entertained, that makes it entertaining or compelling and get’s people to listen to the follow up closely.

    He gives people permission to entertain the worst of those meanings themselves …and all the others.

  114. …why are the responses all over the map?

    Well, that one I’d chalk off to “because people are all over the map”, but that’s just my jokey sort of response.

  115. And with myself as example at #66, I did indeed come up with my own reasons for wanting O to fail.

  116. Those of you who continue to engage Patterico, even as he hasn’t shown me the same courtesy, do me a disservice.

    He has effectively changed the terms of debate, and he has led you miles away from where he started.

    Some of you clearly recognize this. Others are looking to make nice. But as I say, as I’m the one being frozen out here — again — you are doing me a disservice if you don’t insist that Patterico respond to the kinds of rebuttals I’ve offered, because those are in response to the terms he set up to begin with.

  117. That said, I don’t feel Limbaugh’s radio entertaining is anything any politician needs to explain or defend. He’s a radio show host, not Patrick Henry in the house of Burgesses.

  118. Nuance, in a political fight like this, is silly. It’s like bringing a rapier to a sledgehammer fight, you might get a pinprick or two in, but the sledge is going to bash your brains in. Yes, the American electorate, for the most part, and definitely excepting here, lacks nuance. So what? Those that are going to see what Rush said as Anti-American ARE GOING TO SEE IT THAT WAY ANYWAY. You’ll never be able to convince many of them anyway, so why bother? The truth is, trying for nuance is what got conservatism and the Republican Party in this mess in the first place. You CANNOT try to be all things to all people without screwing it all up.

  119. I think that’s my exit cue. Dan, you can join me on my blog and propound any argument you like, including anything Jeff has advanced. I’m happy to debate the ideas. I think it’s become pretty clear, however, that what Rush said was nowhere near as clear as had been assumed. Good DAY, sir!

  120. But whatever. Dan, you head over and debate Patrick. How this became yours to debate, I have no idea. I guess it’s no okay even to marginalize me from my own arguments.

  121. (For clarity, #117 was the exit cue. I’m not participating in a re-run of last night’s trainwreck, and it’s inevitable if I engage Goldstein directly.)

    So long.

  122. How much did you piss in Patterico’s cornflakes Jeff? Man, that was the worst brushoff I’ve ever seen, especially on your own blog…

  123. The only thing that’s clear is that you’ve worked overtime to change the terms of the debate, and that you are unwilling to engage me. Dan doesn’t need to explain me. And I’m hoping he respectfully tells you to get bent.

  124. He keeps saying you put words in his mouth, Jeff.

    I didn’t really see that.

  125. Well, so far as I can see, Patterico insists on being fully understood on his terms. Which is fine since that’s what I’d expect Limbaugh to do as well, it’s what any of us who stop to think, hey, cut it out when we feel interpretationally aggrieved. The problem so far with regard to Jeff and Limbaugh, is that Pat isn’t willing to insist to himself that he simply return the favor. I wrote this on Pat’s poll thread a bit ago:

    Do you think Limbaugh has three different interpretations of what he meant running around in his own head? I guess he could suffer from a (so far) hidden multiple personality disorder, though that seems to me unlikely, given what I’ve heard and seen of him. Do you think, on the other hand, that he has one comprehensive intent behind the words he used? And if that is possible, why wouldn’t we want to get to the bottom of that, rather than fritter away our time in efforts to prove now one thing and now another about our own opinions (incomplete and possibly misguided) of what he meant, or to show that he is the one who, because we won’t do the work to understand him, is the one at fault through poor communication skills?
  126. He’s been brushing me off for days, CD. Dan has set himself up as the good guy again, I guess.

    Perhaps it’s time just to hand the blog over to him. He evidently doesn’t care how shabbily I’ve been treated here, on my own site, by his good buddy Pat, and he’s on his way over there now to make nice and carry on an argument that I’m not allowed to participate in. Even though it’s my argument, and I’m quite capable of making it myself.

    He is, however, allowed to bring up some of my points. Those are part of the rules, you see. Which I guess is like a consolation prize.

    And you people wonder why I say fuck it?

  127. Heck, I think it’s dumb. .Patterico doesn’t want Limbaugh stank on his party. I say P. should read more tar baby stories.

  128. There’s what Rush said. Then there’s what Rush said he meant. Period. End of story. Problem completely determined.

    But no, then there’s Patterico chiming in with appended hypotheticals:

    I don’t want you to go to the store, IF YOU’RE GOING TO ROB IT!
    I don’t want you to light the grill, IF YOU’RE GOING TO BURN THE HOUSE DOWN!
    I don’t want you to date my daughter, IF YOU’RE GOING TO RAPE HER!

  129. We could spend time here dealing with this question of interpretation on our own though. It could be useful to us to confront some of the issues that arise repeatedly, sorting through for ourselves what works, what doesn’t, what can’t, what might, etc. Anyone for gavagai?

  130. Let’s recap what’s come of this today: the debate has changed terms, my role in it has been marginalized and delegitimized, and now everyone is over at Patterico’s holding a “debate” in which one of the two principles has been replaced by a proxy CHOSEN BY PATTERICO. Who Patterico has allowed is permitted to speak for me.

    I have no say in this, evidently.

    Yeah. Totally outlaw, we are.

    Why do I try?

  131. Well, we’ll always have Paris.

    Hilton.

  132. I was so hopeful yesterday. I should have known it wouldn’t last.

    Send all your outlaw queries to Dan. Evidently he’s been appointed spokesman for both me and my site.

  133. On the other hand Jeff, you too can traipse over there and pound away if you choose. If he deletes your stuff, come on back.

  134. I TrollHammered Patterico last night, and have dropped him from the blogroll on my site. At the beginning of this I suggested he suffers from rhetoric fatigue — sort of a PTSD for those who’ve been arguing for conservative positions in the late 2000s — and ought to take himself out of the game, at least temporarily.

    Since he won’t, I’ve removed him from my own rhetorical environment. At least temporarily.

  135. Why do you care if he responds to you?

  136. “Some of you clearly recognize this. Others are looking to make nice. But as I say, as I’m the one being frozen out here — again — you are doing me a disservice if you don’t insist that Patterico respond to the kinds of rebuttals I’ve offered, because those are in response to the terms he set up to begin with.”

    Comment #2. Oh, and for that apparently I’m a spoonfed moron.

  137. Not at all. I’ve said what I have to say to Pat’s illustration. I don’t think that I’ve got anything to add. I wish that Pat would have taken on board what your argument is, Jeff, because I think that Pat’s looking at the symptomology whereas you’re looking at the pathology.

    Anyway, thanks for inviting me over, but do keep in mind that I speak for myself and not Jeff. Limbaugh speaks for himself, and not the Republican Party. And Obama as man, President and idea is a disaster to our little republic.

  138. Just a reminder what Dan’s good buddy Patrick dropped in the comments here last night:

    Goldstein needs a foil. So he can start a movement. April 1 is coming fast. Money’s running out. So you take a conservative who has been busting his local paper for six years, falsely caricature him as a wimpy turncoat, mobilize the forces against him, and start a foundation. Donation requests coming soon. Who’s in?

    Mal the tertiary will tell you that I’ve been discussing this with him for a while, and that it isn’t about Patterico.

    The suggestion that it’s somehow about money — well, that’s just plain insulting.

    My frustration about being frozen out of important debates should AT LEAST not extend to my own site. Those of you who countenance this are, to borrow the phrase of a Good Man, not who I thought you were.

  139. I don’t (and now probably won’t) read Patterico. You are one of the only blogs I read on a regular basis, and are my Outlaw! Intentionalism and Classical Liberalism Guru. I roll with you…

  140. it’s inevitable if I engage Goldstein…

    Again, why you here?

    So long.

    How can I miss you if you won’t go away?

    Blast, ten words.

  141. On the other hand Jeff, you too can traipse over there and pound away if you choose. If he deletes your stuff, come on back.

    What for?

    The guy has spent days proving that he’s unwilling to engage when the outlook seems unfavorable, yet some people here continue to treat him as if he hasn’t acted like a total coward and buffoon.

    It’s bad enough that a piece praising his character is sitting on my blog right now — particularly given his late night suggestions that I’m a money-grubbing opportunist, while he FIGHTS THE LA TIMES!. But that he has so openly flaunted his arrogance here, and more people haven’t insisted he get lost, or ignored him right back, just baffles me.

  142. I tried to cover that nonsense in my comments on paranoia and metaparanoia, Jeff.

  143. JeffG, after all, no one can see what you write if Patterico stops reading. :/

    Frankly this “Limbaugh is a big assassinated-ape cartoon artist” and all the concerned reactions about tarnishment of other critics of O by association is just stupid.

  144. I’ve long wondered on these sorts of issues due to the extreme difficulties of interpretation of the ancient Greeks I’ve run into, particularly Plato in the dialogs. People want desperately to pin on him their own grotesquely narrow and often laughably ridiculous opinions or those of others that they’ve inherited, without giving even a second thought to the possibility that those received opinion are already corrupt and that they have been hopelessly tainted by them. Scraping away the encrusted ordure of the centuries long accumulation of this stuff is no easy business, and certainly not one most folks have any patience to endure. What for? is the usual bleat.

    Nowadays we have ever present and somewhat similar difficulties with Constitutional interpretation to fight over. Far more consequential than getting a handle on eons old philosophers, we’ve a fight on our hands involving the soul of our nation, the stuff that has heretofore set us apart from the never similar other polities out there. The grounds (are there grounds?) of language and interpretation couldn’t be more important in that issue.

  145. Big Whoop. Rush wants O to fail. Assume the worst. Big fricking deal.

  146. Goldstein needs a foil. So he can start a movement…

    Four words, Jeff.

    Forty Percent Bran Flakes

  147. Big Whoop. Rush wants O to fail. Assume the worst. Big fricking deal.

    but.. but… then he’ll miss out on the unicorns.

  148. Why do you care if he responds to you?

    I care that he’s pretending to have a debate while studiously avoiding one (psycho and Ric hit on that nicely), and that some people are pretending along with him.

    He’s got you talking about hypotheticals that, at the time Rush said what he said, weren’t yet in play, as if Limbaugh’s utterance is necessarily trapped in amber like an ancient mosquito, and that subsequent events, as they happened, wouldn’t allow him to make subsequent augmentations or edits.

    It’s a smokescreen, and it takes away from the business of interpretation, which for reasons sdferr notes above (and I’ve been hammering home for years) are what is really important here.

    He is helping avoid what needs to be talked about, all because he doesn’t want to lose an argument.

    He’s like the fucking anti-OUTLAW.

  149. This began as a debate over intentionalism. It is now about manners. If you go to someone’s house, talk to all the party goers and intentionally ignore the host, don’t be surprised when he takes you to task. Bad manners, Pat. Do what you want on your own site, but if you come here, don’t ignore your host.

  150. It is, as Jeff had pointed out, a matter of manners, of decorum, for our adversaries. That’s why Jeff’s made fun of them on that point, and of Frum and Parker and Brooks. It’s also Iowahawk’s point in his post on the conservative movement, but they seem not to register that, when they link it from their sites.

  151. Patterico’s argument is the same bullshit the Left pulls all the time. Because a statement may admit one hypothetical interpretation, that becomes the intent of the speaker.

    Example: Trent Lott and his “things might have been different” remark. The ugliest possible interpretation becomes his stated meaning.

    Example: “Mission Accomplished” banner on a CVN returning from, umm, a successful mission. No, that Bush gloating at Victory Over Iraq.

    Here’s an exercise. Take Patterico’s two possible interpretations of Rush’s remarks and strip off the bullshit hypotheticals he tacks on.

    #1 Rush opposes President Obama’s policies, and feels that they are likely to lead to more suffering.

    #2 Rush opposes President Obama’s policies, and feels that they are likely to lead to more suffering.

    Now tell me which one you think Rush meant?

  152. Patterico is like the guy invited over to your house, who refuses to talk to you, and only talks to your wife.

    Not that you are Jeff’s site beatch, Dan. It just seems like Pat is doing that.

    I get Jeff can go “Joe Pesci Goodfellas” at times, but I do not get why Patterico will not address the issue he raised (even through Jeff’s daemon Dan). Is it embarassment? I have the feeling Patterico actually agrees but does not want to admit it.

  153. On his own site, Patrick Frey offers only these two ‘interpretations of Limbaugh’s comments:

    1. Rush opposes President Obama’s policies, and feels that they are likely to lead to more suffering. He hopes Obama’s policies are never enacted to begin with. However, if they are enacted, as seems likely, he wants to see them succeed. He wants the economy to do well. He doesn’t want Americans out of work.

    * 2. Rush opposes President Obama’s policies, and feels that they are likely to lead to more suffering. So, even if the policies do get enacted, Rush still wants them to fail. This is not because Rush wants more suffering for the American people. But he feels that, in the long run, the quick and dramatic failure of the policies might lead to Rush’s own proposed policies being adopted: namely, spending less and employing the free market. In the long run, this would be best for America.

    Hey Patrick, how about citing Rush’s comments in his own context.

  154. Unfortunately Pat is taking the part of the beat-up wife who says “If I’m only a bit nicer, lose 10 pounds and make sure dinner is on the table on time, I won’t get beat up again.”

    You’d think a dda would know better.

  155. I had thought that my comment upthread quoting Pat’s bleat about being misinterpreted could draw him into an argument about that in particular, how he is misunderstood and consequently, how he in turn was misunderstanding the central arguments made here, rather than the sideshow that is the Limbaugh question (not that the Limbaugh question isn’t interesting to me, just that in confronting interpretation and intent it’s closer to home when one is claiming to be misunderstood). I failed to carry that through, no question. Even fetching up the Limbaugh quote later to add fuel to the fire. [Hangs head in shame. dog-gone-it.]

  156. Comment by Joe on 3/7 @ 7:41 pm

    Why are you here?

  157. Specifically,

    I get Jeff can go “Joe Pesci Goodfellas”

  158. Darleen, I see the similarity. But after all, deep down, he’s really a good man.

  159. Mr. Patterico likes for there to be a one and then there to be a two. I’m like that with the swiss cake rolls. I should be a lawyer.

  160. A word to PW allies.

    Patterico does a hell of a job deconstructing narratives foisted upon the nuance-unaware populace. I wish there were as devoted critics as Patrick Frey in every major media centers.

    That said, Mr. Frey’s blind spot is responding to the media as if it were in a court room. Mr. Frey constantly points out fallacies within the argument, but as a practicing attorney, he is reticent to attack the overall strategy.

    In a court room, nibbling away at minor points is quite impressive upon a captive jury. Enough chips onto the foundation of the opposing counsel’s presentation may topple their case. But as even Patterico notes, the court of public opinion is fickle.

    Mr. Frey is arguing tactic, we are arguing strategy. Patterico is not wrong, his focus is just myopic.

  161. Beating up on the beater uppers again, eh? Let’s get ’em girls. Grrrrrrr.

    Oh, look! Bunni—–…..gavagai!

  162. Bains, that’s perceptive.

    Also the swiss roll thing.

  163. Oh come on guinsPen, you don’t see that occasionally? Why are you here? But if you were on the front line of being Outlawy, who would you rather have at your side? Jeff G. of course. I agree with Jeff that playing by the otherside’s rules is losing the argument before it starts and we have to call bullshit on bullshit.

    Alinskys’ Rules for Radicals, which were used very effectively over time against Bush, will work just as well (if not better) against Obama. Without the lying part the left is famous for, I am all for doing that.

  164. 150.

    Thanks for the response. If your bored you should go watch the fight tonight that’s what I am doing. Watching Rampage crush some bums face will make you feel better.

  165. Mr. Patterico likes for there to be a one and then there to be a two.

    And he comes up with four.

  166. you don’t see that occasionally

    No, Joe, I don’t.

  167. Oh, you might like to read this Dr Sanity post I just read.

    It’s how I feel about the Limbaugh -ffle.

    Patterico’s big mistake is not taking on the taking on of the likes of Limbaugh.

  168. we need to take at at the enemy, not each other.

    there must be room for all styles if we are to grow as a movement.

    don’t like rush? then don’t listen to him.

    it’s a free country for the moment and you can listen to anything and anybody you want – for the time being.

    for conservatives and/or th gop to win they need “rush’s audience +”.

    there is no victory for conservatives or the gop without rush’s audience.

    the frum’s et al who criticize rush are hurting the movement by airing it out.

    why not just start your own movement without attacking a guy who’s been there for 30 years fighting the fight!?!?

    and another thing: the lib comics say outrageous things all the time and never get chastised for it by the dems. why should it be different for the gop?!

    bush never criticized moor or franken or olbermann.

    we shouldn’t criticize rush.

    rush and coulter are great.

    we need relatively more harsh and sarcastic attackers as well as mellow-toned reasoned dealmakers.

    let’s be a big tent.

    everyone for liberty on our side.

    the leftists and islamists over there.

    shoot over there.

  169. is this where all the cool kids hangout?
    is this the cool kids echo chamber?
    we all know wtf’ng problem is…
    frame the narrative
    or be gone/ my advice to any dickweed from our side who goes on tv
    reject the premise
    we all are well voiced and well skilled
    ’tis a pity
    how many of you wanted to yell at the tv when some of our dicktwat peeps were on tv- “no..no…don’t say THAT’
    feckless/ we all have a better argument
    meanwhile in the [unfortunately stoopid] real world
    we’re getting punk’d
    it’s not enough to scream/ we need a ground game
    but- like that plucky little band of renegades-coached by an irrascible[sp] outlaw[hi jeff]
    our helmets on sideways-lil’smiles on our retarded faces

    have you ever tried talking politics w/ ur friends who don’t share ur passion/ i can name every sen/rep/ on c-span but i can’t tell you the batting average of..?/ or who won american idol-if i’m adamant [adam and the ants]- i’m srident/ i don’t like being strident/ or trident/or waterworld
    anyways
    i luvs me some wisdom/ thanks jeff
    “what to do” was a great b-side of an early rolling stones song [?]

  170. does anyone know the meaning of is is

  171. I get Jeff can go “Joe Pesci Goodfellas”

    But if you were on the front line of being Outlawy, who would you rather have at your side? Jeff G. of course.

    We’re outlaws, not criminals.

  172. If Patterico is too cowardly, I mean prefers not to take on Jeff, perhaps this substitute can fill in?

  173. Rush IS the primary carrier of the troll-hammer. He’s been engaging, and enraging, leftists and liberals for over 20 years. I’ve supported him for 20 years, agreeing with him up to 90% of the time.

    This time, again, he’s right. And, Jeff’s right. We can’t afford to allow the left’s tools to misinterpret what should be a common theme to all non-Democrats: the fundamental economic system we base our American lifestyle on is capitalism and it should stay inviolate; we won’t countenance a massive shift to socialism, at least not without a fight. Rush lit a lantern this time; he truly is the Midnight Rider, the Paul Revere of our time.

    Patterico wants to run Rush through a six-cycle car wash, complete with nice foamy wax, to polish him (and his message) shiny and bright, to impress the very people with whom we do battle. Unfortunately, that cleaning process would extinguish the lantern.

    Rush is effective. Don’t try to sterilize or Pattericize pasteurize him.

  174. Oh, and of course.

  175. it’s bobby deniro time!
    we’re all rupert pupkins
    don’t take no for an answer
    we’re in mom’s basement filled w/ applause
    we all wanna be taxi driver on their asses
    should we be casino and glad we’re alive?
    or be all godfather 2 ?

  176. Comment by guinsPen on 3/7 @ 8:21 pm #

    I get Jeff can go “Joe Pesci Goodfellas”

    But if you were on the front line of being Outlawy, who would you rather have at your side? Jeff G. of course.

    We’re outlaws, not criminals.

    You aren’t serious are you? It was a humorous comment.

  177. Patterico’s big mistake is not taking on the taking on of the likes of Limbaugh.

    That is still what he closes his eyes to. What largely we’ve been pressing home since the argument began and which he refuses to look at. The first night he came over here I asked whether he had spent anywhere near the time assaulting Ed Henry and Robert Gibbs for their lying little song and dance to introduce the false meme that “Limbaugh wants fail for the US economy” that he had inveighing against Limbaugh (for deigning to assume the mantle of conservative leader). No response, nothing.

  178. eli wallach ” you’re gonna shoot, shoot
    you’re gonna talk…”

  179. the false meme that “Limbaugh wants fail for the US economy”

    because obviously, Pat’s not sure that’s false.

  180. Dead serious.

  181. Here is a question I’ve had while reading these comments. It is my understanding that Patterico is a lawyer, right? Now please correct me if I’m wrong, but in a trial, the defense argues their case and while doing so they try to paint the defendant as innocent, misunderstood, too dumb to know any better, abused by family, social workers, police etc. and create a sympathetic person that allows the jury to feel sorry or outraged for the guy. Or feel his rights have been abused. Or clutch at possible sinister motives by others that suggest the prosecution has the wrong man!

    When the prosecution rises to present it’s case, does it begin by conceding the completely distorted version of the accused and argue from that place or does it ruthlessly tear down the false case put forward by the defense in addition to vigorously defending the state’s case? And how successful with a jury would it be to attempt the first?

    It would seem to me a lawyer would immediately grasp and agree with Jeff’s point. What am I missing?

  182. i work in a construction union/ i’m a snarky bastard
    cuz of quotas in the union-we’ve had a minority quota-
    aside- if u can’t produce ur gone
    anyway i say to my darker toned co-workers
    while commenting on the more brown toned -[i ain’t saying high yella]
    “what do you think of our new overlords-que?’
    i ain’t got time to think of your color-i’m too busy working
    ps-every major city 4 40 yrs has had a democratic
    school board
    mayor
    city council
    how’s that workin’ for ya?

  183. Tom Maguire waded in this morning, though with a twist, pulling up his pantlegs to keep from getting wet by using Reagan to contrast with Rush. 217 comments and counting.

  184. how’s that workin’ for ya?

    Me? I turn turtle.

  185. Lana,

    A fair question and one that gets to the heart of this debate. Well put.

  186. it’s a wonderful life reference
    don’t throw urself off a bridge
    we only lost by 52-46 [what’s that tell ya]
    that’s not counting wots’ they be a cheating
    every time a bell rings
    it’s another PW reader getting his wings

  187. Reading down the comments over a JOM, they are, so far, decidedly on Jeff’s and pw’s side of the issue. Most of the folks there aren’t (again, so far as I’ve read) taking the Reagan/Limbaugh bait, but sticking to the arguments as engaged.

  188. Comment by guinsPen on 3/7 @ 8:28 pm #

    Dead serious.

    Ahhhh, either my intentionalism is not getting through, you are a very tightly wound person, or you are nuts. Don’t talk to me anymore. You better pass on comments through Dan or Patterico.

  189. Lana, I am with BigD, your comment is spot on.

  190. i’ve had 6 movie references [whoo- hoo!]
    if u count waterworld -that’s 7!- that leaves me with 18 dvds that that one eyed bastard from england be watching
    “m’lady- did michelle give ‘lil butterworth just a marine one? because i’m watching air force one w/ harrison [ now theres a frickin english name] ford [
    ford-fix or repair daily]
    whoo-hoo!
    down to seventeen!

  191. I was wrong about Patt being a coward he’s a cowardly twat.

    Toohey-ist.

  192. either my intentionalism is not getting through, you are a very tightly wound person, or you are nuts…

    Further, a fourth possibility?

  193. Smart money bets show.

  194. my own personal bucket list
    dumpster diving
    taking a vacation to venezuela [or pretending to]
    scrapping the cheese off pizza boxes [ a good source of chewy cheese-thing mozzarella sticks-like in that bar that just closed down used to serve]
    taking a shit w/out paper!
    sphincter muscle workout!
    whoo hoo- i’m down to 14!

  195. Very good guinsPen! You are playing the Pesci role yourself and goofing on me! In the words of Ray Liotta: “Get the fuck out of here!”

    Just don’t shoot me like Pesci did to Michael Imperioli.

  196. think-mozz sticks
    mystic pizza-whoo hoo!
    almost time for launch

  197. Mmmmmmmmm, pizza. Think I’ll go make me some.

  198. Stephen M

    Patt has spent so much time accomodating the Tooheys he hoist by his own petard … Patt is play Gail Wynand (giving authenticity to Toohey by playing the game rather than disengaging)

  199. Uh, while the dough is rising, what’s a Toohey?

  200. Just a reminder what Dan’s good buddy Patrick dropped in the comments here last night:

    Goldstein needs a foil. So he can start a movement. April 1 is coming fast. Money’s running out. So you take a conservative who has been busting his local paper for six years, falsely caricature him as a wimpy turncoat, mobilize the forces against him, and start a foundation. Donation requests coming soon. Who’s in?

    Mal the tertiary will tell you that I’ve been discussing this with him for a while, and that it isn’t about Patterico.

    The suggestion that it’s somehow about money — well, that’s just plain insulting.

    My frustration about being frozen out of important debates should AT LEAST not extend to my own site. Those of you who countenance this are, to borrow the phrase of a Good Man, not who I thought you were.

    This is not about ideas, Jeff. This is about macho. You took all that shit down last night. Now, because you’re being whiny about me not talking to you, you’re restoring part of it.

    Fine. Restore it all, pal. Restore the part where you suggested I was an anti-Semite. You really want to do this? GO ALL THE WAY.

    Show your audience where you played the race card by suggesting I was stereotyping you as a Jew.

    Provoking me is THAT important to you? Fine. Tell the whole truth. You’re a truth-teller, right?

    Jeff Goldstein basically called me an anti-Semite here last night.

  201. I explained in the thread you deleted why I hadn’t engaged you directly. I explained that it was doomed to spiral downward.

    I explained where my suspicions came from: because I had been unfairly caricatured here for days.

    Then you deleted it all.

    Fine. Today I left and closed all my windows from this site. Then someone e-mailed me to tell me you’re bringing it all back up again.

    So fine. You want to bring it up, bring it up.

    Show your readers everything that was said. How you pretended I’m an anti-Semite. How you added that to the list of bullshit slanders you have perpetrated against me.

  202. You want it dropped, then fucking drop it.

    You want to whine about me, I will respond.

  203. Pingback: Life Under the Well-Intentioned Administration [Dan Collins]

  204. If it’s so important to you to troll for pity because of the mean, mean thing I said, then I am going to let people know why I felt that way.

  205. Here’s the quote:

    Wow.

    I guess Pat’s done hit rock bottom.

    No matter. It’s not like a lot of the lefty blogs haven’t accused me of being a money-grubbing Jew opportunist with no real ideological core. Hearing it come from a true conservative like Mr Frey makes me aware that I best know my place.

    WE WILL HAVE DECORUM!

    Emphasis mine.

  206. It’s the sound you make right after you hawk the loogey.

  207. You’ve both done a pretty bang-up job of insulting each other, I’d say.

  208. Then in the thread you deleted, Not Rhetorical noted you were playing the race card. And she had a few other choice criticisms of you.

    You told her to fuck off and me to fuck off. And you deleted it all. I thought it was a good idea to de-escalate.

    But you HAD to bring it all up again, to slander me and go trolling for pity. So show people what you said. Show people what Not Rhetorical said. Show them how you suggested I’m an anti-Semite. Or fucking stop trying to slander me.

    Find another fucking foil or deal with one who defends himself.

  209. okay now.
    the important thing is….I’m not sure what that might be.
    I suppose one of the more important things is getting this PW transformation going.
    I think Patterico and Jeff really aren’t going to do anything but talk past each other, although I would note that Patrick’s inability to take on Jeff’s argument was odd.
    Still, I understand everybody enough to get where they may be coming from, despite having no idea what anybody here is really like or even looks like.
    boy, I’ve got nothing tonight.
    I sure wish Glenn Greenwald would get caught sock-puppeting again, don’t you?

  210. We have had our posteriors handed to us in the last two cycles.

    We weren’t in the election. The Republicans lost, but they weren’t conservatives.

  211. It’s ain’t easy being Gleen, mcgruder. But, yeah.

  212. Dan, I’d let it go. I’m not the one who is trying to turn everyone against me by bringing up something I thought we’d agreed to forget.

    It’s very, very important to Goldstein to have people think poorly of me. Last night he took it so far that he suggested I’m anti-Semitic. It was stupid and pathetic and race-card playing. Yet he HAS to bring it up again, so that people will give him a virtual pat on the back and say “there, there.”

  213. I think Patterico and Jeff really aren’t going to do anything but talk past each other, although I would note that Patrick’s inability refusal to take on Jeff’s argument was odd.

    FTFY

  214. “I would note that Patrick’s inability to take on Jeff’s argument was odd.”

    I wasn’t unable. I explained this in the thread Jeff deleted. I recognized that when I talk to him, we get very angry at each other, and I wanted to avoid that. That’s why I wanted to talk to someone who didn’t seem hellbent on misinterpreting every fucking thing I say and make me seem like a sneaky, dishonest, mealy-mouthed, anti-Semitic creep. He tries to slander my reputation in every way possible — and last night, it got to the point where he was suggesting I was anti-Semitic.

    Then he deleted it. He said we should forget about it. And de-escalate. And I decided to.

    And then he HAD to fucking bring it up again.

  215. Thanks Joe and Big D. I still don’t get it. Much like I don’t get how liberals have managed to generate a phony Rush controversy that is splitting conservatives and classical liberals apart. Umm, Carville and Begala win. But hey, let’s throw up straw men and straw polls, attack each other instead of having a constructive conversation, and let them get away with murder in the process. Right?

  216. While this was way upthread and may have been addressed (sorry, I’m a slow reader), I have a problem with Pat’s two options,

    * Rush opposes President Obama’s policies, and feels that they are likely to lead to more suffering. He hopes Obama’s policies are never enacted to begin with. However, if they are enacted, as seems likely, he wants to see them succeed. He wants the economy to do well. He doesn’t want Americans out of work.

    * Rush opposes President Obama’s policies, and feels that they are likely to lead to more suffering. So, even if the policies do get enacted, Rush still wants them to fail. This is not because Rush wants more suffering for the American people. But he feels that, in the long run, the quick and dramatic failure of the policies might lead to Rush’s own proposed policies being adopted: namely, spending less and employing the free market. In the long run, this would be best for America.So, even if the policies do get enacted, Rush still wants them to fail.

     I think this is a false dichotomy. There’s an underlying assumption here that Obama’s policies could succeed or fail, and our interpretation of Rush’s meaning is dependant on Rush thinks Obama’s policies could succeed. But we know (from Rush’s lips) that Option 2 is the only possible one in Rush’s mind, since he doesn’t for one second think that Obama’s machinations could bring anything but prolonged economic woes to the American people. Option 1 makes no sense for anyone who has even a passing knowledge of what Rush’s positions are.

    Again, sorry if this has already been addressed or discussed to death already.

    And I want Obama to fail, too.

     

  217. Am I an anti-Semite, Jeff?

    If I am, then make the argument.

    If I’m not, why did you imply I am?

  218. I didn’t restore any of it. The site got moved to new server last night. The original comments reappeared and were there this morning when I got up. I suppose that’s because they were left while the site was propagating.

    Funny you’ll respond to everything but my arguments.

    I’m not trolling for pity, incidentally. It’s not me who’s been all over the right side of the blogosphere claiming I was misinterpreted, or putting up ridiculous polls. Instead, I’ve been here answering your every argument even as you claim you are intentionally ignoring them out of some sort of feint to the moral highground.

    You are making a fool of yourself. Coming here and ignoring me on my own site while begging people to come over and reconsider your newest attempt to change the subject by changing the premises only pissed me off. There’s no “whining” to it. I hope I came across pissed and despairing of yet another right wing blowhard obscuring the issues because he wants to pretend he’s so fucking noble.

    I dropped it last night. I’ve written today, repeatedly, on the issues. You have written about how you intend to ignore me.

    That anybody has an ounce of respect left for you astonishes me. I may “whine” because my country is being sabotaged, but all you seem to care about is how “measured” you come off sounding.

    As for the anti-semite thing, I took all that down. But to revisit it if you wish, because once again you want to air this out here and not with an email (where I would have let you know that deleted comments I could not possibly re-access were reposted because of the server move, something that I mention over in that thread, incidentally), I never called you an anti-semite. I noted that you pointed out how the opportunistic Jew was using you — destroying your FLAWLESS REPUTATION — to make money. Goldstein the opportunistic money grubber, sneakily destroying your character to make himself some big bucks!

    The tropes are all there. You added the anti-semite tag. Are you an anti-semite? Who knows. You probably have no problem with Jews who don’t try to sully your honor as a way to sneakily raise money from dupes.

  219. Wow. Just read up about 10-12 comments. I think I’ll just back away slowly and watch the hockey game…

  220. hi patterico/ love-love-love ur site
    it’s almost a…love story
    starring ali mcgraw and al gores roomate
    i will cut my movie reference deficit in half by the

    end of [my] affairs
    wheres bill clinton?
    free willy!
    oh- those dems!the neverendingstory part 2
    oh baby–bring it on-cheerleaders!
    whoo hoo!-that’s five movie references
    with no whoopi goldberg!

  221. Comment by Sdferr on 3/7 @ 9:02 pm #

    Uh, while the dough is rising, what’s a Toohey?

    Ellsworth Toohey, perhaps, the collectivist who seeks to destroy Howard Rourke in Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. Toohey said: “Don’t set out to raze all shrines—you’ll frighten men. Enshrine mediocrity, and the shrines are razed.”

  222. That comment I made about why Jeff wanted to start the foundation was something I said when I was angry and confused about why I had been misrepresented here. He deleted it and I thought it was done with. Now he has to bring up my accusation again, thus reviving the whole ugly thing.

    Why?

    And why suggest I’m an anti-Semite? It’s the worst kind of bullshit victimology. I would think he would be embarrassed to engage in such nonsense.

    And why bring it up again?

  223. Comment by Patterico on 3/7 @ 9:05 pm
    Comment by Patterico on 3/7 @ 9:09 pm
    Comment by Patterico on 3/7 @ 9:10 pm
    Comment by Patterico on 3/7 @ 9:11 pm
    Comment by Patterico on 3/7 @ 9:12 pm
    Comment by Patterico on 3/7 @ 9:15 pm
    Comment by Patterico on 3/7 @ 9:17 pm

    …I’d let it go.

  224. I’m sorry about that, Pat, and I’m sorry about your insinuations regarding Jeff’s motives, and his about yours. I don’t understand the point in either of you going after the probity of the other. I can understand why Jeff’s offended, and I can understand why you’re offended.

    Fuck it, man. It’s not supposed to be about you and Jeff, and I sure as hell don’t want it to be about me.

    Jeff seemed pretty baffled by the comments reappearing overnight. And we have had site issues that Pixy’s been dealing with. Unfortunately, the distrust between you two has gotten to the point where you’re not going to believe that, and that will probably spark another round of incriminations.

    Jeff is trying to build a movement. I think he wanted to use your ideas as a foil, rather than you, and I wish it hadn’t gotten so personal.

  225. Patterico, just to clarify, you did accuse JeffG of being a money-grubbing opportunist, just not a money-grubbing Jew opportunist.

  226. “I didn’t restore any of it. The site got moved to new server last night. The original comments reappeared and were there this morning when I got up. I suppose that’s because they were left while the site was propagating.”

    Bull. Fucking. Shit. Comment 140 is where you yourself brought up the whole thing.

    Absolutely NO REASON to bring that up again.

  227. “Jeff seemed pretty baffled by the comments reappearing overnight. And we have had site issues that Pixy’s been dealing with. Unfortunately, the distrust between you two has gotten to the point where you’re not going to believe that, and that will probably spark another round of incriminations.”

    Is he baffled by the appearance of Comment 140?

  228. ooh- the two feisty brothers-locked in an idealogical arguement-east of eden?
    perhaps…
    or dumb and dumber?
    from here to eternity they squak
    whoo hoo!
    we’re talking a movie surplus!

  229. And yes I saw Darleen comment now above yours (missed it in the bar fight) and she is referring to Patterico as Gail Wynand.

  230. I’ve got a buch of catching up to do, but has anyone mentioned what sort of rhetoric the left won both houses of Congress and the White House with? In short, it wasn’t nuanced or polite.

  231. No, Dan. I wanted to build a movement, and Patterico had nothing whatever to do with it. Nothing.

    I’ve asked a hundred times now where I “misrepresented” Patterico. In this very thread, in answering daleyrocks, I’ve broken down my statement and the statement I quoted, and asked how what I wrote misrepresented what was quoted.

    Patterico refuses to address me on the issues, because the minute he does, his “misrepresentation” bullshit goes away.

    Now, after trying to play me like a chump on my own site by ignoring my ARGUMENTS, he wants to act all tough and confront me about a comment that reappeared because of a freak bit of timing.

    Did Patterico take down his live blogs about the incident as part of a de-escalation? No. I took things down. Me. I de-escalated.

    Did Patterico allow a little “Jeff is gay” stuff to remain on his site? Yes. He did. Because I guess it was written in a way that he found appropriately non-provocative.

    At this point, I don’t care what Patterico has to say. I don’t know what he feels about sneaky money-grubbing opportunists looking to cash in on his Good Name. And I don’t much care.

    But I think it’s obvious that while I am certainly known as the more potentially coarse of the two of us, I have acted honorably here, and Patterico has acted like a petulant little child.

    So he may now blow me.

  232. Oh I don’t know, Patterico. You both sound like a couple of offended, prickly whiners to me. He’s assaulted your reputation and you’ve called him a crass opportunist. What if, say, you both merely addressed his point and the both of you just stuck doggedly to question at hand without the insults? As a reader of both sites approximately a dozen times a year, I have no dog in this fight except the fate of the nation. You two will hang separately while cursing each other at the gallows. Not to put to fine a point on it, but that means they win and we lose. It’s their objective and it’s working out pretty well, dontcha think?

  233. Don’t worry about it, Pablo. I’ve set myself up as the good guy, again, which, admittedly, isn’t very outlaw. I’d make something of that, but I don’t think there’s enough outrage to go around, so I’ll skip it and head straight for the schadenfreude, which I gave up for Lent.

  234. Patterico

    Not Bullshit… I wasn’t online last night and this morning was startled to see you accusing Jeff of manufacturing his arguments in order make money and my first thought was that it couldn’t be you. Jeff noticed my comments and came on to wonder why the ones from you had reappeared. I then asked if something had happened during the wee hours that would make for a prior copy of the site to be uploaded/restored.

    Unless you’ve gotten your network engineering creds lately, then I suggest you back away from the “bullshit” charge.

    I will note, too, that you found Rush’s comments mercenary as well.

    Pattern?

  235. Uh, Patterico? The comments were here this morning, and had been commented on by a number of people.

    Do try to keep up.

    And while you’re getting your dander up, I’ll ask again. Did you take down your references to those comment on your site last evening after I de-escalated? Or did you tell me it’s your site and you are allowed to post what you’d like?

  236. So you brought it back up . . . why? To be honorable?

    That’s completely what this is about. Showing that you’re the good guy and I’m not.

    Where does calling me an anti-Semite fit into that narrative?

  237. when gas prices soared for about 6 months-after the dems got control
    i mentioned that fact to my lib brother/ and he kept saying bush was an oil man..
    i stopped the argument…what can ya do?
    you can pick ur brothers nose
    but u can’t pick ur congressman

  238. Darleen,

    I’m not talking about the comments that reappeared. I’m talking about bringing it back up again at Comment 140.

    This is ALL designed to run me down. Including suggesting I’m an anti-Semite. It’s character assassination.

  239. I’m baffled by #122.

    (For clarity, #117 was the exit cue. I’m not participating in a re-run of last night’s trainwreck, and it’s inevitable if I engage Goldstein directly.)

    So long.

  240. Ahem. I thought it was established that I’m the good guy. Which is bad, outlaw-wise.

  241. Flummoxed, even.

  242. OMG, this is a catfight worthy of Rock of Love.

  243. Suggesting Patterico is anti Semetic for his comments seems a bit much. You might as well call everyone who questions Barack Obama racist. It is a bullshit argument. Calling him on not addressing the Jeff’s primary point, however, spot on.

  244. this shit is inhouse
    from a frequent watcher of both ur sites
    i don’t care
    u are both true warriors [movie reference!]
    ur both on my list
    4 what it’s worth
    ur both great-but u know who sucks?
    really sucks….
    it’s a mad,mad,mad world[ movie reference]
    is this relationship rocky?
    cuz i got like …alot of rocky references to go…
    stop it u giant conservative voices
    godzilla vs. mothra
    [movie ref
    keep up the good fight/ both
    thanks

  245. All right, I’m getting irritable, so I’m ejecting for the night.

  246. That’s completely what this is about. Showing that you’re the good guy and I’m not.

    Actually, what it’s always been about — at least on my end — is debating the issues. Look at my responses from today alone. You’ve refused. You’ve said I misrepresented you and I’ve asked you how. You’ve refused to answer. You’ve trotted out a host of follow-up arguments. I’ve answered them, and you’ve ignored my answers.

    Your problem is that you think this is about you. And it’s gotten you so dyspeptic that you can’t see that all the time I’ve been arguing the issues, you’ve been trying to run me down personally. Last night’s rather desperate characterization of my motives — as if I became an English major 20 years ago so that one day I could make $800 a year on a website by hanging on the coattails of a REAL CONSERVATIVE HERO WHO TAKES ON THE LA TIMES — was the last straw.

    Where does calling me an anti-Semite fit into that narrative?

    I didn’t call you an anti-semite. You used the term. But if the “look at sneaky Goldstein, the money-grubbing opportunist, trying to get rich by sullying my reputation and dupe people out of their cash” shoe fits, stomp the glass.

  247. “Or did you tell me it’s your site and you are allowed to post what you’d like?”

    Another lie to make me look bad. That statement was made in a different context and you know it. I said I thought I’d been banned. You mocked me as stupid for not knowing why I couldn’t comment, as you had told me you were taking the post down. I said that notification came at the same time I was saying I thought I was being banned. You mocked my commenting at my own site as well as here and said I was trying to get sympathy. I said I can post on my site; I’m allowed to.

    Now you make it sound like I left the comments up, you asked me to take them down, and I said I can post what I like.

    See, every goddamned thing you EVER say about me is designed to try to cut me down and dishonestly portray me as something I’m not.

    And that’s ALL your Comment 140 was. And now you try to lamely justify it because I didn’t delete a host of comments at my site.

    If you had e-mailed me and said, hey Pat, I notice there’s some of that argument remaining on your site, can you take it down as part of the de-escalation? I would have.

    I don’t normally take comments down, but I would have.

    Instead, you brought this all up again in Comment 140. Just because it’s so, so fucking important to you to attack me personally.

    So put the post back up. The idea that you behaved honorably will fail pretty quickly once people see it, and all the comments. Go ahead.

  248. Patterico

    You decided to comment back here on Jeff’s own blog and deliberately ignore him. I’d call that uncalled for provocation. Please don’t act all wounded because Jeff offered up what why you were acting the way you are.

    You won’t directly address Jeff’s points AND you’ve reframed it. One more time and from the top…what Rush said isn’t as important as determining who “owns” Rush’s speech.

    When we attempt to play by the Left’s rules WE WILL LOSE, everytime, no matter how ‘polite’ or ‘clear’ you attempt to make it. The Left wants us silenced by any means possible. Stop helping them.

  249. I suggest a poll:

    #1 Patterico claims JeffG is a money-grubbing opportunist. By that Patterico is simply ascribing a motive.

    #2 Patterico claims JeffG is a money-grubbing opportunist. By invoking pecuniary motives Patterico is playing on Jewish stereotypes.

    Hey, really I think it’s #1. I’m just throwing #2 out there cause, you know, that’s a possible interpretation.

  250. You guys realize we spring forward an hour tonight, right, losing an hour of sleep? I know that this pissing contest is going to be epic, but I’m sorry to say that I’m too damned tired.

  251. You didn’t “call” em an anti-Semite. You said:

    Wow.

    I guess Pat’s done hit rock bottom.

    No matter. It’s not like a lot of the lefty blogs haven’t accused me of being a money-grubbing Jew opportunist with no real ideological core. Hearing it come from a true conservative like Mr Frey makes me aware that I best know my place.

    WE WILL HAVE DECORUM!

    You said I accused you of being a money-grubbing Jew opportunist.

    Now you’re suggesting it again with your “if the shoe fits” rhetoric.

    You’re out of control. There is something wrong with you. You choose people to fight with and misrepresent what they say and try to make them sound evil.

    Right now you’re STILL trying to insinuate I’m anti-Semitic.

    I explained why I said what I said in the comment thread you deleted. You said if I asked for it to be put up again, you would. Well, that’s where I defended myself, and where you honorably came unhinged and told me and Not Rhetorical to fuck off again and again. Put it up.

  252. Jeff, chill. I’m as loopy as the next drunk, but I think you push it.
    And not in a “let’s moderate our rhetoric” way but in a back off because you are out of line way. I’ll contribute to whatever project you have in mind, only because college and the future is pretty much moot.

  253. can’t u 2 be like..a carville-begala scum team
    cuz that would be awesome!

  254. But back to the topic at hand, default conceding the liberal media premise and answering from a place of distortion and weakness…*crickets* *who might possibly be cutting me down and sullying my reputation if I could only understand their leg language* *leftists win*

  255. Well, in fairness, Patterico, who I don’t know, is looking the sniffy one.

  256. Darleen,

    I explained why I ignored him in a post he deleted.

    Every time I try to discuss things with him it goes to shit because his one and only goal is to make me PERSONALLY look bad not matter how he has to twist the truth to do it. Culminating in insinuations that I’m anti-Semitic.

    We can escalate more if you like. If everyone here thinks calling me anti-Semitic is acceptable, I can put his comment (complete with screenshot so you know it’s real) on my front page, and let the world decide.

    Or he can take that back and shut the fuck up about me and stop assassinating my character.

  257. Why should I have had to ask you to take down comments pointing to something I’ve already taken down? Like I say, you can do what you want. Leaving them up left your side of the story up, and I didn’t even care. Still don’t.

    The point is, you keep talking about how I’ve been running you down, trying to make you look bad. All you have is my immediate reaction to your unprovoked and nasty attack as to the entirety of my political worldview being nothing but a sneaky way to turn a buck off people like you.

    So of course you want me to put it back up.

    No need. You just put up the entirety of the post. Had it in your comments, too, if I remember correctly.

    The comments were just you and I shouting, and omebody you were feeding info to over in your comments visiting to tell me that I was out of line for interpreting your nasty, uncalled for, unprovoked personal attack on my reason for running a website over the last eight years in a way that you didn’t like.

    I’ve heard the same argument from nasty lefties — I’m in this for the dough. In fact, timb is one of the kings of that particular slur, and he’s now a regular over on your site.

    So spare me your outrage. You should have thought about it before you posted that accusation.

  258. I don’t want to respond to Jeff’s argument today for the same reason I didn’t want to respond to Jeff’s arguments (and yes, pointedly ignored them) during the last couple of days. Namely, when we talk to each other directly, everything spirals downward and ends ugly.

    Hindsight says maybe you should have just addressed the argument head on. No guarantees it wouldn’t have gotten unpleasant, but at least you’d have been up front about it.

  259. Nobody here will criticize Jeff for baselessly insinuating I’m anti-Semitic. You all think that’s appropriate.

  260. “And you people wonder why I say fuck it?”

    I don’t.

    I pray, go to the gym and go to the range.

  261. “So of course you want me to put it back up.

    No need. ”

    Put back up “Late night Patterico.” The post, with the comments. The one you said you’d put back up if I said the word.

    Go ahead. Show people how you behaved in the comments to that post. So honorable.

  262. Oh please your faux outrage grates my ass. It’s clear he was being rhetorically hyperbolic.

  263. Stop addressing us and start addressing your host.

  264. joke [ i think]
    “u know what i like about you?”
    ” no…what…”
    “give me two weeks- i’ll think of something”
    don’t worry-if u 2 giant conservative thinkers can’t get together and agree
    and some spokesmodel/porn star/anchorette is looking for a quote
    i’d sell u both out 4 in a robin williams heartbeat-

    ” yes- i am pdbuttons/and recently i’ve noticed a trend…
    fuck ya’s all
    who gets the top billing?
    steve mcqueen or paul newman?
    i don’t fucking care!

  265. All Goldstein has done for two days is tell lies — so many there’s not time to rebut them all — about how I am a sneak and a coward and an anti-Semite and any other bad thing he can think of to say.

    If you wanted the stuff taken down on my site, why not e-mail me and ask? Why bring it all up again in Comment — “Just a reminder” that Patterico talked bad about me? Why did people need the reminder? Why bring it up in public again?

  266. You claim you avoided addressing Jeff out of concern for where it might lead.

    That ship has sailed.

    There’s nothing more to lose, address the argument.

  267. Just went to put the post back up. It ain’t there. Lost in the transition, I guess. Sorry.

    But if you want me to repeat what I said, just see the comments above. They pretty much cover it.

  268. “Oh please your faux outrage grates my ass. It’s clear he was being rhetorically hyperbolic.”

    It’s acceptable rhetorical hyperbole to baselessly suggest someone is anti-Semitic???

    Holy fucking shit, you are insane.

  269. Jeff, I criticize you for baselessly insinuating that Moonbaterrico is anti-Semitic.

    Now will you “so long?”

  270. It’s been fun. I wish I hadn’t been told about this. Go back to telling lies about me and trying to get people to like me based on those lies.

  271. Address the argument – your only excuse is no longer operational.

  272. I may not have looked in the right places, but the only time I see “anti-Semitic” is in comments by Patterico.

    So did Jeff intend to call Patterico “anti-Semitic” and Patterico accurately assessed Jeff’s meaning, or did Patterico misinterpret something Jeff said? Does Patterico think a statement along the lines of “He thinks I’m a money-grubbing Jew opportunist” is equivalent to “He is anti-Semitic”? Because I don’t.

  273. I have, Pat. Several times in this comment thread. Mayhap you should read for nuance. Not that I don’t think you both sound like junior high girls at this point, but hey, you two are so involved in your grievances against one another that you might as well be the poster boys for what is killing our chances in nominating good leaders and engaging the public. Begala and Carville have pwned you both. Way to go!

  274. Oy. We’re back into the personal.

    Pat, you’re making a mistake here. If you intend to engage, which you clearly do (and that’s one of the things I like about you) you owe it to Jeff to engage his argument directly. And it is an insult to choose a proxy with which to argue it.

    The rest of this shit just makes people who hate you both (like Timmah!) orgasmic. There’s an excellent fundamental discussion at hand here. Don’t waste the opportunity and make lying assholes happy in the process.

    And, memo to the lying assholes: You party was ripping itself apart less than a year ago. Rush Limbaugh was laughing his ass off at your internecine antics. Don’t get cocky.

  275. Frey,

    You accuse him of having the most base motives, he responds by comparing that sleight to more colorful accustations from Lefty blogs, and you take faux umbrage at the response in a transparent misdirection play.

    It’s pathetic, really. Try another tack.

  276. All Goldstein has done for two days is tell lies — so many there’s not time to rebut them all — about how I am a sneak and a coward and an anti-Semite and any other bad thing he can think of to say.

    I think everybody here knows that’s bullshit. But if they don’t, they can go look at all the times I’ve addressed your points, and how you’ve studiously avoided replying.

    If you wanted the stuff taken down on my site, why not e-mail me and ask? Why bring it all up again in Comment — “Just a reminder” that Patterico talked bad about me? Why did people need the reminder? Why bring it up in public again?

    I think it had something to do with you ignoring me in my comments and pretending you owned the place. And the high ground.

    Then there’s the constant accusation that I’ve lied about you and misrepresented and mischaracterized — which you refuse to substantiate. If anybody should be bitching about being personally run down it’s me, what with all this talk about how I’m a character assassin. Hell, you even took your show on the road — saw you saying the same thing at Ace’s.

    That’s character assassination, Patrick. Not me addressing your arguments.

  277. I think for real you should at least have to point to someone what actually thought oh my goodness that Mr. Patterico is an anti-semitical person but you can’t cause no one thought that. But you know who is anti-semitic are administrative assistants at Warner Bros. and Disney. Occupational hazard.

  278. u know who’s an anti-semite?
    jim moran/jerry wright/liberal democrat jews
    leanard bernstein
    norman mailer-noam chimmy-changga-chompsky
    ken livingstone
    the proctologist of the gelders of feinstein…
    south park?
    of course the titan bros. [ sorry-i’ll think of a name 4 u 2]
    are not!
    duh!
    love u both!

  279. oh. I was addressing the Mr. Patterico, which, I didn’t make that clear at all.

  280. How ironic; you guys appear to be indulging in the same smears toward Patterico that you decry toward Limbaugh.

  281. All Goldstein has done for two days is tell lies — so many there’s not time to rebut them all — about how I am a sneak and a coward and an anti-Semite and any other bad thing he can think of to say.

    That’s simply not true, Pat. See #48 and #13, for instance.

  282. pdbuttons #256

    We agree. That would be an amazing team! Too bad they can’t just get all this bitch girl stuff straightened out before the cheer competition and kick some ass.

  283. Shit. That should be #113, not #13.

  284. 3:2 he posts about how I called him anti-semitic. He’ll finally get some support, and people will forget how he’s avoided debating from the get go. It’s almost like it comes from a playbook.

    I’m done with this.

  285. Comment by Joe on 3/7 @ 9:45 pm #

    Suggesting Patterico is anti Semetic for his comments seems a bit much. You might as well call everyone who questions Barack Obama racist. It is a bullshit argument. Calling him on not addressing the Jeff’s primary point, however, spot on.

    Comment by Patterico on 3/7 @ 10:00 pm #

    Nobody here will criticize Jeff for baselessly insinuating I’m anti-Semitic. You all think that’s appropriate

    Jesus Pat, 15 minutes can seems like a fucking eternity sometimes.

  286. I have a really good idea. Why don’t the both of you keep to your own blogs. Either that or take it off line. Getting personal, as you both have, serves no purpose.

  287. Lana, I appreciate your joining in, but I’ve been trying to get an actual debate going for days. Pat’s last attempt to save face is to try to make me out a character assassin.

    He’s spent days saying I lie and misrepresent him. Where? How? I keep asking, but he doesn’t answer. Allows him to keep the accusation alive.

    It’s silly. And I’m done with it.

    I had such hopes yesterday afternoon. Today, not so much.

    I tried to put an end to things. I didn’t ask Dan to go pen another fucking Patterico post. But when he did, I focused my arguments in this thread on language and why I thought Pat’s argument, and those like it, are wrong. Patterico, for his part, made a great show of snubbing me and pretending that I don’t argue in good faith.

    He’s done so repeatedly, yet he doesn’t back up the accusation. To top it off, I’m in this for the money.

    Fuck it all.

  288. Yes. I spend days arguing on the merits over and over and over again, but now it’s just a cycle of violence. We’re both to blame!

    Again, it makes no sense to try.

  289. Big D,

    I disagree. This is exactly the problem with our side and until we address it, we’re screwed. While JeffG and Patterico snipe it out, it is an excellent illustration of what Begala/Carville want to happen and it is being facilitated here and every other place on the internet. Divide and conquer. Complete and total intra-party fighting where we turn on each other instead of the real enemy. Again, they win. And it’s working. This thread is an object lesson in more ways than one.

  290. lana banana
    up u one…
    the post -obama-world mod squad
    [blade-runner-whoo hoo- a movie ref]
    goldstein-the hot head-always in ur face/ crabby-but lovable crabby
    the crowd roots for him-deep down-wears his enemies hearts on his sleeve-but only when he walks into a restaurant/cuz his oppo heart stink and he don’t believe any indian proverb ‘boputs treating your enmees w/ respect
    fuck ’em
    a kinda-u killed my daughters and a philly cop
    let’s go-homo

    Patterico-cool/calm/slice u up with a cherry on top
    uu think u so pretty!
    u think u soooo pretty…
    nails u too good
    the only way the word jesus and cross escapes ur lips is when u be cross/ cuz patterico just nail ur ass!
    and then/ the peggy lipton china/phillapina tea trade
    get in the shade/ it’s malkin/ and she…don’t wanna hear it
    the mod squad…
    thanks/ u all rock/ sorry for spell

  291. goldstein-the hot head

    Patterico-cool/calm

    It’s turtle soup, then?

  292. It still matters though that Mr. Goldstein had a very good point what started all this. But really, the most noxious thing was that quote from Allah that psycho talked about back at #64. Also I thought Mr. Maguire was uncharacteristically la la la la la about the whole deal but especially the part about conservatives going to war with the media we have and adapt to it blah blah blah is just glib and not very helpful.

  293. I don’t know why Pat, but from your first post here until the shouting match late last night (which I missed entirely, by the way), then once again today most pointedly, (and this time with something, at least, causing it, though at the time you wrote this I was still unaware what that motivation was, outside the general sense that you two had come to verbal blows last evening) you’ve utterly avoided coming to grips with the central issue Jeff has posed. I can sort of get your behavior today, though I wish you would have been able to control your irk and get on with business, but yesterday’s failure to address the issues as you and Jeff have framed them respectively, that, I don’t get it. It makes no sense.

    It does make a sort of sense that that very behavior would lead to the shouting last night, well, that together with the other personal stuff you’ve both got going on, some of which is caused by just plain mistakes and some by overweening emotion at perceived slights on both sides.

    Still, the issue lay there all day yesterday, waiting to be addressed. But it wasn’t, and so far, at least as far as you are concerned, still hasn’t been.

  294. what is that wimpy 70’s song
    “there ain’t no good guy….
    there ain’t no bad guy…
    there’s only you and me and we just disagree…”
    btw
    for that last comment…can someone shoot me
    thanks…
    hurry….
    james taylors silent plane just flew over…
    but it did!

  295. How ironic; you guys appear to be indulging in the same smears toward Patterico that you decry toward Limbaugh.

    You know cynn, I just don’t think that’s true at all. Not even a little bit.

  296. I stealed thius from the Mr. Maguire thread…

    At what point does demanding that one’s allies maintain spotlessly clean togas, leave us all at the mercy of the wolves?

    Rush did formulate it in a deliberately provocative way to catch the listener’s attention, and then fully explained it was Obama’s policies he hoped would fail.

    The media misrepresented what he said, deliberately taking it out of context.

    The WH used that misrepresentation to demonize him.

    OTOH, Lefty spokesmen used a similar formulation or worse… were not misrepresented by the MSM, but their provocative, false and polarizing words were never reported by the MSM or used by the Bush administration to demonize its opponents.

    Posted by: clarice

    she’s formidable smart.

  297. guins pen/ are u insulting me?
    let’s have a pat/pw fight
    am i an anti-semite?
    or
    am i in miami?
    just jokin”
    serious-in my opinion/these are the two greatest voices in the conservative whick whack…
    my list
    1 [tie] guinspen/pdbuttons
    2 [tie] pw/patterico
    3[tie] tim blair-the author of that saying-tie ur kangaroo down mate/tie your kangaroo down
    4 bobby orr
    5 i hate to say it-powerline

    who cares

  298. The whole Twitter thing is a bug-a-boo for Patterico. I’ve suggested earlier that I thought it originated in Jeff’s ignorance of how Twitter works (the reason I guess that is that I’ve held the same mistaken impression of Twitter as I’m suggesting Jeff did) but Pat, assuming that Jeff had full knowledge of Twitter concluded that Jeff was dissembling with the “behind the back” business and therefore knew that was untrue. I’m still guessing that Pat had that wrong.

  299. am i in miami?

    You are indeed, nishizonoshinji.

  300. oh. *this*… mostly the Maguire people take Mr. Goldstein’s point of view but they have this leitmotif going on that to debate the Limbaugh thing amongst ourselves is to fall into the cunning trap or something. I said no I don’t think so about the cunning trap thing. It doesn’t really work like that I don’t think.

  301. I have no idea how Twitter works. I’m not even a Twitter outlaw yet.

    This site really has to die, I think. It’s the only way be sure.

  302. Well, Jeff, I appreciate your blog and I completely agree with your point. The point that started the entire debate. And I agree that he’s not answered it at all and as a consequence it’s devolved into something ridiculous. Deflecting the point into something else is a huge dodge, although why he continues to do so baffles me. He seems to be a smart guy.

    You seem to be a smart guy too. I can imagine why you’d both get distracted into this cluster. I know you’re frustrated that he won’t address the dang point, I would be too, but ironically, you’re both guys who use words for a living and can’t seem to communicate. That’s sad because you’re on the same damn side. I hate to say it, but it is unintentionally funny because now you both sound like lefists. He’s calling you out for playing the race card over his over the top remarks about your supposed opportunism and you’re bringing up the cycle of violence as if you never said anything that was the least bit over the top.

    If you two are on the same side we’re screwed. Seriously. This is exactly what Carville and Begala envisioned when they thought this Rush crap up and it’s working. You’re completely correct on the issue, IMO, but the fighting over it was what they had it mind. To the extent that Pat plays along he’s a part of the problem. To the extent that you play along by attacking personality instead of substance, you are also a part of the problem.

    Divide and conquer. They’re winning and we are having this type debate. We lose, they win. Simple.

  303. oh. nonono. buttons is buttons.

  304. Joe,

    I’m sorry. I hadn’t seen your 246.

    And I hadn’t seen cynn’s comment saying the same thing.

    I took a shower and calmed down some.

    I really am sorry that so many want me to debate this with Jeff and I won’t. But there’s nothing I can say to him on substance that I haven’t already said to several others. I’ve ignored Jeff but he’s ignored me, just in a different way. The substance is all there in the threads. daleyrocks articulated what I was saying perfectly, and Jeff told him it was bullshit. Well, if I do the same exact thing daleyrocks said and get the same response, and why wouldn’t I, then this will devolve — because I don’t like having my character assassinated. And I have pointed out at length how my character has been assassinated — being accused of being in favor of hiding what we believe to keep moderates happy (didn’t argue that, said I didn’t mean it), getting accused of saying things in a sneaky manner on Twitter (it’s not sneaky, it’s public, Jeff had been e-mailed about my Twitter site), getting accused of making my Twitter comments unprovoked (they were a direct reaction to an unprovoked post mocking my commenters as smoking jackets wearers), getting accused of deliberately leaving up comments on my site and saying it was my site and I can say what I like (that lie debunked above), getting accused in an insinuation of being anti-Semitic (bullshit), getting accused of making comments on my own site in order to garner sympathy (threw that one back at him since that’s what he does), getting accused of lying when I said he brought all this back up (he did in Comment 140), and so on and so on and so on. I’ve documented the slanders at length.

    And I have concluded that it’s not an argument in good faith. It’s an effort to destroy my Internet reputation by portraying me as a sneak and an unreliable conservative and a fuddy-duddy and someone who doesn’t speak his mind and who is anti-Semitic.

    I encourage anyone who thinks I wanted any of this to go back and read Comment 140. And ask yourself: why did Jeff feel the need to bring that up again?

    I think a lot of people here have treated me decently and some, I think, have understood what I’ve said.

  305. Sdferr; I suppose you’re right: the first has to do with capitulation, and the second has to do with escalation.

  306. But I really don’t think it’s a good idea for me to comment here. Because nobody wants me to comment and ignore Jeff, and it doesn’t work when I engage Jeff. It’s not all his fault; it’s the mixture of the two. We’re both strong-willed, narcissistic, thin-skinned at times, whiny at times, and prone to lash out. It’s just a bad combo. It’s been proved time and time again.

    Thanks to those of you who have talked with me about these issues — especially those of you who have said kind or conciliatory things when you thought it was appropriate.

  307. when all the rhetoric fades away….
    and the post-nuc-u-lur obama billboard does sway
    i’ll look down at my rotting shoes and say…
    i’ve got happyfeet/to pave the way
    !
    she’s creating/saving ur ass
    okay!

  308. But I really don’t think it’s a good idea for me to comment here.

    If only.

  309. I finished watching that hockey game. The Blue Jackets smeared the Red Wings (spit) 8-2. Cool.

  310. Patrick,

    You’re not ignoring Jeff. You’re twisting the knife in him by continuing to come to his site and pretend that he’s not here. Every chance there is for the wound to heal, you come in and open it again.

    You know I like you and consider you a friend. End this.

  311. i only wear my penguin suit
    complete with penguin arms
    when i reach for the check…
    let’s go out to din-din
    can u swim?
    chilly-willy

  312. set ur clocks!
    the trains must run on time!
    ?-am i a nazi
    or just a guv’mint wonk?

  313. Comment by Patterico on 3/7 @ 10:47 pm #

    But I really don’t think it’s a good idea for me to comment here. Because nobody wants me to comment and ignore Jeff, and it doesn’t work when I engage Jeff. It’s not all his fault; it’s the mixture of the two. We’re both strong-willed, narcissistic, thin-skinned at times, whiny at times, and prone to lash out. It’s just a bad combo. It’s been proved time and time again.

    Thanks to those of you who have talked with me about these issues — especially those of you who have said kind or conciliatory things when you thought it was appropriate.

    What the fuck was that? The proper response Pat is “blow me” followed by a few stiff drinks.

  314. Answer to daleyrocks, for those who would like to watch me assassinate characters and avoid issues and not engage Patrick’s points. Remember, Pat keeps saying daleyrocks understands him.

    Maybe somebody can point out the misrepresentation and personal animus of which I’m being consistently accused.

  315. Joe —

    You have been trying to stir this into a war from the beginning. Why don’t you quit while you’re ahead, pal?

  316. Either that or you could try not being so strong-willed, narcissistic, thin-skinned, whiny, and prone to lash out.

    YOU ARE AN ARMADILLO IN A BUCKET.*

    Yeah, that’s right, I’m an armadillo, and I’m inside your fucking bucket.

  317. we must invest in demonizing the fall-back clocks
    or our spring forward [blitzkrieg] time table will not happy fuzzy bunny work
    y u hate time?
    we’re all gonna die
    euthanasia style
    [eurhymics is the chosen style-or the police]
    depends if u wanna wear diapers
    cuz the earth has a fever!
    and adult diapers are…so bush

  318. @ 306

    And We’re Queen Victoria.

  319. omg this is only the coolest thing I’ve seen in my life up to this point I think. I might be forgetting some stuff.

  320. Is it not bitchen that we have our own greek chorus in pdbuttons:

  321. We are amused.

  322. Amused at the ‘dillo.

  323. But Vic, old girl, will you still be amused when the Caps stomp your Pens tomorrow?

  324. Here’s part 2 of today’s output on this issue of language, and on how Pat’s Rush Limbaugh posts play into things. Again, I invite someone to show me the misrepresentation and character assassination of which I’ve been consistently accused.

    And I bring up the cycle of violence example for a reason, Lana. Namely, the blame here for this devolving into a personal dispute is not equal. I’ll be damned if I let the narrative get framed that way.

  325. Patterico,

    A first step would be to start taking the argument that Jeff makes like a prosecutor instead of a assuming a personal assault. That would be a fine start. Also, answer the damn point. As I said earlier on this thread and post again in hopes of a response:

    Here is a question I’ve had while reading these comments. It is my understanding that Patterico is a lawyer, right? Now please correct me if I’m wrong, but in a trial, the defense argues their case and while doing so they try to paint the defendant as innocent, misunderstood, too dumb to know any better, abused by family, social workers, police etc. and create a sympathetic person that allows the jury to feel sorry or outraged for the guy. Or feel his rights have been abused. Or clutch at possible sinister motives by others that suggest the prosecution has the wrong man!

    When the prosecution rises to present it’s case, does it begin by conceding the completely distorted version of the accused and argue from that place or does it ruthlessly tear down the false case put forward by the defense in addition to vigorously defending the state’s case? And how successful with a jury would it be to attempt the first?

    It would seem to me a lawyer would immediately grasp and agree with Jeff’s point. What am I missing?

  326. LIES/SLIDES AND QUANTIFIDES [I PATENT THAT!}
    thanks for ur site/
    u give me insight
    and ur fun
    could someone quantify “blog” relavance
    i mean/ i’m smart- smarter than my bro-bro fredo
    but there are lies/slides/and quantifieds [i patent that!][
    i just know in blue collar life/ i care about politics
    example-when i tell peeps about frame the narrative and tell them that there are only 4 gatekeeps[bbc/agent/france presse/ap upi/]
    and blah blah/ they look at me like “weirdo”
    so-i don’t like 2 argue w my friends/ but/what can a poor boy do/except play inna r’n’r band/
    love ur site
    [ha-i keep saying that/pre-obama-bambi defence/
    ] don’t fence me in!

  327. I don’t like the part about this site having to die. I think all the other sites should die.

  328. what’s a greek chorus?
    i know a greek church/ cuz they are so far between/that on sunday mornings/they are very populated
    do they sing sweet sticky songs?
    the kind that involve honey?
    cuz i’d rather have a fat black gran-mama with a purty hat with vegatbles on it pass out in my strong masculine church/testifying arms than to eat-spell check-bakliava?
    when quinn the eskimo gets here/everybody…….

  329. “Because nobody wants me to comment and ignore Jeff, and it doesn’t work when I engage Jeff.”

    You repeat this dodge ad nauseum. Worried it will dissolve into a monkey shit fight? Newflash: It’s already a monkey shit fight.

  330. But Vic, old girl, will you still be amused when the Caps stomp your Pens tomorrow?

    But I really don’t think it’s a good idea for me to comment here.

    If LA Kingsboy keeps his word?

    Yes, We will.

  331. we all suck-it’s a party [i thinks] jg is having
    don’t mind having it
    ur welcome
    thanks for ur effort
    but sometimes….
    i put my head in my hands and look at all the puke sttins on the carpet
    and look at my happy stupid friends
    who wouldn’t know a toned arm from a collectivist farm…
    buck up…preacer [was that a movie reference?]

  332. I always think less of a man who says “blow me” in an argument. I’m not sure why.

  333. Is this fight real? Because it makes no sense.

  334. Lana’s a moron. Jeff can have her totally, duh.

  335. “Patrick,

    You’re not ignoring Jeff. You’re twisting the knife in him by continuing to come to his site and pretend that he’s not here. Every chance there is for the wound to heal, you come in and open it again.

    You know I like you and consider you a friend. End this.”

    OK.

    I’ll go back to the post where Jeff responded to me point by point.

    — first, let me stop you right there. I don’t want to have to measure every word I say with the thought in mind that somebody is going to take me out of context. Instead, I’d like to be free to say what I mean, and when my meaning is obvious, I would like to know that honest people have my back — and will tell dishonest people to stop being dishonest, and stupid people that they need to smarten up before they presume to join the conversation.

    I’ll directly take issue with that. We should always be free to say what we mean. But there are different ways of doing that, and if you care about being persuasive, the way you choose may depend on your audience.

    If you have a hostile audience determined to misunderstand what you say, I believe you have to be aware of the potential for misinterpretation. If you say, without elaboration, “I hope Obama fails,” you could mean any number of different things. If you KNOW you mean one of those, and you KNOW there’s a chance someone could take it to mean a different one, then I think you have a duty to say which you mean so there’s no misunderstanding.

    What kills me is having this opinion of mine stated as “So don’t say what you think.” No, DO say what you think. Try to say it as clearly as possible — and when you know the danger of misinterpretation is high, because there is a hostile audience, be as clear as possible.

    But back to your example:

    1) “I want Obama’s terrible policies to be voted down so America can succeed”

    or

    2) “I want Obama to fail”

    which would you have them say?

    You’ve left out the context of number 2. With the proper context, they two mean the same thing, so I don’t much care how it’s said — and I certainly don’t expect a person who talks for a living to pre-think every utterance as if he’s a lawyer so that nobody looking to take him out of context will. I suggest you read my link to the Bennett piece again, and that will make things clearer.

    Actually, with the proper context, #2 may go further than #1. See my post today polling readers on their interpretation. #1 is the #1 in my post. #2 here could mean #1 or #2 in my post.

    #2 is pithier, sure. But it’s also WAY easier to twist in a way that will repel voters.

    Yeah. They could have gone with “I want Obama”. So? You are on the wrong side. You shouldn’t be concerning yourself with how easy it is to twist things. You should be working to make it less productive to do so.

    As it stands, you’re part of the problem.

    Funny. I don’t feel like I’m part of the problem. I feel like a conservative making an argument.

    Do you want to phrase things in a way that makes it EASY or HARD for media cretins to distort what you’re saying?

    I want the freedom to phrase things my own way and have them mean what they mean. Again, you’re fighting the wrong battle.

    You should have the freedom to phrase things your own way and have them mean what they mean. But if you’re a spokesman for a movement that I’m a part of, I want the freedom to say that, while I may agree with what you say, the way you’re saying it is counterproductive (in this case, because it’s ambiguous).

    I post daily on Obama’s reckless spending, ethically challenged nominees, broken promises, and other shortcomings. I have no illusions about how disastrous his policies are. I believe we have to take the fight to him.

    But I want us to fight smart. You can say things in a way that’s easily distorted, or not. Rush says provocative things because it will benefit his career, and meanwhile, Republicans get put on the defensive. We spend days talking about whether Rush wants us to have a Depression, rather than talking about how Obama is mortgaging our children’s future and passing budgets amounting to $25,000 per taxpayer. Deficits of close to $2 trillion. That’s where our focus should be.

    Instead we have this prominent guy make a speech and double down on a formulation that he KNOWS the drive-by media will distort. If it were necessary to phrase it that way, fine. But it’s not.

    Says you. Me, I say fuck the drive-by media, and fuck letting them frame what it is we say. And no, we don’t do that by carefully self-filtering. We do that by calling them on their dishonesty.

    You want to fight them on their terms. I’m arguing that to fight on their terms is to have already lost the battle.

    When Limbaugh says something that has multiple interpretations, and I don’t know for sure which he means, he makes it hard for me to call the media on their dishonesty. Some clarity would help. I want to call the media on their dishonesty. But it’s easier to fight that battle when the speaker doesn’t lead with his chin.

    If we have a Republican president, would you prefer an inarticulate numbskull who is always being misunderstood, or one who clearly conveys his thoughts — all other things being equal? I want the articulate guy.

    What if he has the ability to clearly convey his thoughts — but chooses to convey them in an ambiguous way for some personal reason? I’m not happy with that either.

    I want us to take the fight to the enemy and stand up for what we believe in. But I want us to do it in a smart way.

    When you say “I hope X fails” then some people are going to hear that and nothing else you say.

    Some folks are going to hear what they want to hear. But you know what? It’s time to make them feel stupid for being stupid — not empowering their stupidity by pandering to it.

    I don’t think it’s empowering stupidity or pandering to it to counsel someone to say something as clearly as possible and try to avoid formulation that are easily twisted — all other things being equal.

    THIS DOES NOT MEAN DON’T TELL THE TRUTH. IT DOES NOT MEAN DON’T SAY WHAT YOU THINK.

    If there is only one way to tell the truth, and any other formulation is less truthful, say it the way you gotta say it ven if it pisses people off.

    But if there are two equally truthful ways to say something, and one is clearer and less ambiguous, choose that one.

    As applied to this situation, Rush could say “I know he’ll fail” as opposed to “I hope he fails” and probably more clearly convey what most here think he meant.

  336. i’m a fairly newbie
    question/ how long do threads go?
    do they just peter out?
    do people come back…later..?
    i would appreciate any answers that start “hey asshole…”
    cuz it took me 3 months to find out what a nishi was/ til some kind heart told me
    thanks

  337. more sort of peter and the wolf out, buttons.

    Ducks.

  338. I should add that when I say the issue isn’t tone, that’s not to say that tone can never be the issue.

    It’s just that I don’t think it’s the issue with Limbaugh’s speech.

    I heard Bill Schneider describe his speech as angry. Bullshit. Not the part I heard. The part I heard was spirited and in good humor. Didn’t agree with all of it, but I thought calling it angry was ridiculous.

    The issue here is not tone. It’s not “civility” or bluntness of any of that. The issue for me, here, is his message was not clear — likely because he was seeking controversy over all else.

  339. As applied to this situation, Rush could say “I know he’ll fail” as opposed to “I hope he fails” and probably more clearly convey what most here think he meant.

    but it wouldn’t have been as entertaining an answer to “What is your hope for the Obama Presidency?” *

  340. #339 hear hear.

  341. patterico-whew
    don’t be mad at me/ i really hate gin
    and blossoms
    but when u put the two in a sentence…
    i’d rather sit next to a pancaked dan rather and listen to beethovens ninth
    but…it’s an east coast thang
    keep up ur stellar work…
    where will true conserves go? without u?
    james brown is dead/but santa-goes straight to the ghetto
    good work on la times/ u own them [ha-hardy- ha]

  342. Comment by Jeff G. on 3/7 @ 11:00 pm #

    Joe –

    You have been trying to stir this into a war from the beginning. Why don’t you quit while you’re ahead, pal?

    As much as I like stirring the pot, this is a fight I did not want to see, or rather, I wanted the fight to be on the points you raised, because I think you are right. You are on to something that needs to be said and acted upon. If you go back to my points through these threads, you will see that is where I was going. My only provocations were to get Patterico to answer your points, at least till the end.

    I like Patterico and his site. I have no idea what the fuck happened or why he kept dodging you and changing the subject. I thought the whole anti Semitism thing a big fat red herring and an unnecessary distraction from the primary issue. I think Big D, Lana and Darleen were spot on.

    Meanwhile, Rush’s ratings have doubled this week. Since Rahm is all into opportunities, maybe we should be seeking opportunities too. Rather than infighting, we should be bringing the fight to the other side. And no, I do not think you are to blame here (at least not primarily).

  343. Jeff were he here right now, might be asking how it was you had so clearly summed Rush’s position in this paragraph (which JG’s cited more than once)

    I know: when [Limbaugh] says he hopes Obama fails, he doesn’t mean he wants to see Americans suffer. He just doesn’t want liberal policies enacted because he thinks they’re bad for the country. I get it. I agree with that.

    and yet still claim that you don’t know what Limbaugh meant, Pat?

  344. # 341/ u dind’t say- ” hey asshole…peter wolf was in j.geils…”
    i’ll let it slide…

  345. “but it wouldn’t have been as entertaining an answer to “What is your hope for the Obama Presidency?” *”

    OK. “I hope his proposals are rejected in Congress, because they’ll destroy America.”

    Even if he said “I hope he fails” and clarified that he didn’t mean he wants Americans out of work, I could live with that. I don’t know if he meant #1 or #2 in my post/poll today, but he could have expanded on either one and justified the argument, while making it clear that he doesn’t want Americans to suffer.

    If arguing #2, it’s a hell of a hard sell.

  346. That’s probably cause I don’t know whata j.geils is, pd. As to the hey asshole part, sorry, I just forgot.

  347. If arguing #2, it’s a hell of a hard sell.

    so? That’s Limbaugh’s problem, not anyone elses.

  348. “and yet still claim that you don’t know what Limbaugh meant, Pat?”

    Indeed. Read my post from today. Here’s the key part:

    I’m not a leftist and I don’t think Rush Limbaugh wants to see Americans suffer. I know he doesn’t want Obama’s policies enacted because he thinks they are bad for the country. I completely agree with him on that.

    However, when he says “I want Obama to fail,” what did he mean? His line could have meant one of two things:

    * 1. Rush opposes President Obama’s policies, and feels that they are likely to lead to more suffering. He hopes Obama’s policies are never enacted to begin with. However, if they are enacted, as seems likely, he wants to see them succeed. He wants the economy to do well. He doesn’t want Americans out of work.

    * 2. Rush opposes President Obama’s policies, and feels that they are likely to lead to more suffering. So, even if the policies do get enacted, Rush still wants them to fail. This is not because Rush wants more suffering for the American people. But he feels that, in the long run, the quick and dramatic failure of the policies might lead to Rush’s own proposed policies being adopted: namely, spending less and employing the free market. In the long run, this would be best for America.

    #1 is a no-brainer for conservatives. And at times I have assumed that’s all he meant. But when I go back and read his words, I’m not so sure. People argue that he has been crystal clear about what he meant, but I don’t think he has clearly said whether he means #1 or #2.

    Later in the post I add a third possibility because some have a third interpretation:

    UPDATE: Put another way, Point A is the point where the policy is either enacted or not. Point B is the point where the policy, which has already been enacted, either fails or not. We all know he wants the policy to “fail” at point A and not be enacted. But what does he “hope” at point B?

    Quite a few commenters are saying (in comments I’m deleting) that Rush is so confident that the policies will fail that he isn’t even expressing a hope one way or another. He is expressing a certainty.

    OK, fair enough. There’s nothing courageous about that at all, but maybe that’s what he means.

    I believe that. If all we’re saying is I hope his policies aren’t enacted, well, duh. Where’s the controversy there?

  349. “so? That’s Limbaugh’s problem, not anyone elses.”

    Not so sure. If he is set up as the de facto head of the conservative movement — and many think of him that way — then politicians will be asked if they feel the same way. If they say the wrong thing and offend him, it could hurt fundraising.

    He can say what he likes. But having the public focus be on that issue — do you or do you not want Americans out of work so you can make a point out of conservative values — I just don’t think it’s a good idea.

    It’s not like there isn’t plenty of shit Obama’s doing we could be focusing on instead — like what an utter fucking disaster it is to mortgage our children’s future like this.

  350. Dullard.
    O! can fail without that being the failure of the Republic.
    Jesus.

  351. I guess I don’t believe you have been quite fair to Limbaugh’s intent from the get go. Even with your second sally at it, all that point a point b stuff comes nowhere near a simple and fair reading of his meaning, which is why, I’d guess, you ran into so many people, myself among them, who said about your poll on first reading it, hey, wait a minute, you haven’t got Limbaugh there for me to choose from.

    I want to add more about your last line, but will do it in another post. Starting now.

  352. Frickin’ Gone With the Wind it is.

  353. Frickin’ Bridges of Madison County, actually.

  354. “The issue here is not tone. It’s not “civility” or bluntness of any of that. The issue for me, here, is his message was not clear — likely because he was seeking controversy over all else.”

    Call me a rube, but maybe putting it this way makes it “hot” and means he gets to hammer his points over…. and over…. and over…. again as all the knee-jerk idjits bring it up ONE MORE TIME!

    At this point, I’m purely with Limbaugh; my fondest hope is that he loses the red state Democrats in Congress. I’m not sure what happens after that, but frankly it’s less scary than the current status quo.

  355. What with Meryl Streep’s continued unexplainable accent.

  356. “I guess I don’t believe you have been quite fair to Limbaugh’s intent from the get go. Even with your second sally at it, all that point a point b stuff comes nowhere near a simple and fair reading of his meaning, which is why, I’d guess, you ran into so many people, myself among them, who said about your poll on first reading it, hey, wait a minute, you haven’t got Limbaugh there for me to choose from.”

    That’s the third way I described. And you seem confident that’s his meaning. It’s actually probably the most likely meaning of the three. But many people heard it as #2. And many people agree with that.

    I also think the “third way” is a copout. Because, while I agree that Obama’s policies won’t cure the economy, it’s just a copout to pretend you know they won’t and so game over no takebacks. He was being asked about his HOPES. And it’s so easy to see that “I hope he fails” can be interpreted to mean “I hope the country suffers an economic setback” that he must have known this. He was warned by his staff not to say it. Well, why? If all he was saying was “I hope his policies fail because that will save America” then why in the world did he think his staff was warning him?

    It’s a copout. The real question is: IF his policies are enacted, and IF it’s possible they’ll work — do you hope they’ll fail or hope they’ll succeed? You can refuse to accept either proposition but it’s just a politician’s way of wriggling out of a difficult question. Nothing direct or honest about it at all.

  357. Damn. This thing just won’t stop. Rush is right, end of story.

    SarahW…

    I always think less of a man who says “blow me” in an argument. I’m not sure why.

    Go here. Select as ‘Voice’: Serena (UK). You know what text to enter.

    Then compare that result to, say, ‘Voice’: Daniel (UK).

    If this were a poll, I’d choose Option 2.

  358. “Call me a rube, but maybe putting it this way makes it “hot” and means he gets to hammer his points over…. and over…. and over…. again as all the knee-jerk idjits bring it up ONE MORE TIME!”

    That’s the point Jeffersonian made in the original thread and I conceded that it’s a respectable argument.

    I just think that throwing something out there that you know is easily misinterpreted in a soundbite, as a tactic to get more people to listen (because one way of misinterpreting it is dramatic and controversial), will leave more people confused about your message than clear on your message.

  359. OK, fair enough. There’s nothing courageous about that at all, but maybe that’s what he means.

    I believe that. If all we’re saying is I hope his policies aren’t enacted, well, duh. Where’s the controversy there?

    Who insists that it be controversial for starters? Limbaugh begins with an invitation to “hope for the success of the new President”. Faugh, he says to himself, I don’t hope for that. I know his politics, I know what his policies will be, I know where they will lead, he’s going to harm the country and its people, I want none of that. I also know that if I say “I hope Barack Obama fails” and even should I fully explain why, my statement will be jerked from its context and thrown about all over the MSM as though I were opposed to the economic health of the country, as though I am against the prosperity of the nation and its people. But it will be a teachable moment. Hmmmmm. Lots of audience tuning in to see how I handle the bullshitters. And a chance to point to the positives of the country and the negatives of my political opponents. Deal. Let’s go with it.

    That doesn’t mean it has to be courageous. I don’t know where courageous would come from in this context. Nor does it have to be jam packed with earth shatteringly new proposals. Why should it, when solid and well understood principles will do the job?

  360. He was warned by his staff not to say it.

    this is a common occurrence. it’s part of his schtick.

  361. There’s more ways than 3, Patterico. You’re missing a few strata of meaning.

  362. Jeff @ 234 – “I’ve broken down my statement and the statement I quoted, and asked how what I wrote misrepresented what was quoted.”

    I already addressed that point in a comment to you, but I guess we’ll have to do it again.

    The first sentence of Jeff’s reply to Patterico after quoting his post was a glib dismissal of an argument not made by Patterico:

    “In suggesting that the trouble here is that Republicans are straddled with the burden of having to explain Limbaugh’s nuance, Patterico (and Allah) are not only conceding the linguistic ground to the left, they are now actually helping perpetuate what, at least on Patterico’s part, he knows to be a lie**….”

    HARPOONS MATEYS, THAR SHE BLOWS!!!!!

    See what I did there?

    Jeff claims to be in Patterico’s mind, knows that he is lying, and dismisses an argument that Patterico did not make, that ground shopuld be ceded to the left. I did not claim that Jeff misquoted Patterico in my comments or, as SarahW claimed, object to issues of tone. If she finds evidence otherwise I would be interested.

    Now given the proper response suggested for the left when questioned about Limbaugh’s remarks, shouldn’t Patterico’s response to Jeff have been, fuck you, you distorted my post. Words and intent mean something asnd I’ll be damned if I let you tell me what mine meant when I wrote them. From my perspective that seems to what’s going on here.

    Apart from ego management, the tactics and communications strategy are all fluff. Jeff whining about disloyal comenters is way over the top and why shouldn’t Patterico defend himself here if people are dumping on him. Darleen seems offended by that in the following comment.

    Darleen @ 251 “You decided to comment back here on Jeff’s own blog and deliberately ignore him. I’d call that uncalled for provocation. Please don’t act all wounded because Jeff offered up what why you were acting the way you are.”

    Joe and BigD seemed offended by the soon fed comment early today but claimed to understand Patterico. If they did and followed the threads, they would have seen Patterico’s explanation for not answering Jeff and not stupidly reiterated more laments for an explanation at the beginning of this thread.

  363. If Rush was an army of ninjas then his declaration would have a lot more meaning. His words made people think, but they weren’t a call to action or revolution. There is a huge difference between saying I hope my kid fails to ride his bike, and me pushing my kid over before they can pick up speed. The problem isn’t what Rush said, it is that people won’t think about it. They will have it fed to them in whatever fashion they get their information and that will be it.

    I posted about this on your poll Patterico, but isn’t it more important to ask what it is exactly Rush is hoping fails? I would rather get that conversation into the media because the debate over what “hope” means is a non-starter.

  364. I just think that throwing something out there that you know is easily misinterpreted in a soundbite, as a tactic to get more people to listen (because one way of misinterpreting it is dramatic and controversial), will leave more people confused about your message than clear on your message.

    More confused than clear? Hardly. First off, most of his audience has a sense of what he’s going to say before he even says it. They tell him every day that he says what they are thinking, he articulates for them the things they aren’t sure they could articulate as well themselves.

    Secondly, many people will never understand what he says simply because they don’t want to understand. We know who they are. They’re not going to be either more nor less confused by his tweek, they opt out altogether.

    Then there are the people who tune in out of curiosity, who maybe listen to him once in a while, or are alarmed by the ongoing meltdown of the economy and interested to hear what he may have to say in defense of himself. And bang, there he’s got ’em. If you read that bit of transcript from yesterday, it’s clear that teaching was the point, leading people away from this nightmarish admin was the point, opening the flaky middle’s minds was the point all along. And will continue to be, I’d guess, as long as the current kerfluffle gets extended.

  365. “Because nobody wants me to comment and ignore Jeff, and it doesn’t work when I engage Jeff.”

    “You repeat this dodge ad nauseum.”

    Moron Labe – The constant advice here is not to engage strawman arguments. I don’t see a dodge. Explain and show your work.

  366. But worse is you’re missing the larger point, that Limbaugh is neither here nor there. (Unless somebody turned him into a magical Unicorn with wishing power) – what’s creepy is the focus on Limbaugh – it seems a cynical distraction, and you fell for it.

  367. Ad nauseum, please.

  368. Daleyrocks,

    I was offended by an unnecessary ad hominem. Nothing else. You’ll notice I have not attacked you or Pat. Why the hostility?

  369. Look SarahW, Bunnies!!!!!

  370. See what I did there?

    um, no.

    Jeff claims to be in Patterico’s mind, knows that he is lying,

    what? is this what you’re talking about “you did there”?

    and dismisses an argument that Patterico did not make, that ground shopuld be ceded to the left.

    except that Patterico demonstrates that he accepts their premise that Republicans have to defend Rush Limbaugh.

  371. Time for everyone to sing kumbaya.

  372. “Moron Labe – The constant advice here is not to engage strawman arguments. I don’t see a dodge. Explain and show your work.”

    Cute trick on the missspelling.

    Obviously, my point is that Frey’s repeated unwillingness to engage because he knows it will turn into a shit fight is a dodge. It takes two to shit fight.

  373. I’m confused by Patterico’s comportment in all this. I have no ill will toward him, nor do I wish to malign him nor impugn his honor. I cannot penetrate his consciousness, so I have no desire to make guesses about his motives or strategem vis-a-vis this rather important debate.

    Which is why without his input on some very specific issues about which I (and apparently others) find confusing, it becomes difficult to impute valorous intent. Inasmuch as the lack of his input on these issues is a function of his recalcitrance, it becomes difficult to avoid imputing hubris. Which, that seems rather unfortunate to me. I truly don’t want anyone to come to the conclusion that Patterico is petulant for pointedly avoiding a principled conflict, nor that his assertions are insubstantial because of an unwillingness to respond to the opponent whom is framing (what some believe to be) the most eloquent available rejoinder to Patterico’s thesis. With some luck, he will attempt an elucidation regarding these issues, which seems to me the best outcome because without such, who will defend Patterico’s honor against these hanging issues?

    Foremost of which is: Why the lack of response to the specific points Jeff has raised? Or for that matter, why not respond to them when they have been made by others? I made many of the same points (however turgidly) that Jeff has made. Perhaps I am guilty of some offense against Patterico of which I am unaware, but I do note that he did not attempt to respond to me. Putatively, Patterico will not respond to Jeff because the quality of the exchange is distasteful to him. I accept that assertion at face value, but again I must ask why he would not respond to me, either? There were others in the thread who were neither myself nor Jeff who echoed some of Jeff’s points and they received no response either. The only comments I saw from Patterico were either to engage commenters who were not echoing Jeff’s thesis, or to offer his dissatisfaction with the quality of the discourse. Which, again, fine. But it seems that to demonstrate to anyone that he has gotten the best of Jeff’s argument, he’d need to address himself to the argument as formulated by Jeff. It would be sincerely interesting to see exactly how the two theses connect in genuine competition.

    The “things devolve when we debate” thing looks a lot like a feint. I’ve read Jeff for some seven years and while he can certainly be abrasive from time to time, it strikes me as incredibly ridiculous to suggest he is incapable of sustaining a reasoned debate. There are records online which make this crystal clear. Abrasive doesn’t seem the same to me at all as irrational and the only person not addressing the other is Patterico as near as I can tell. He even made a rather ostentatious point of coming to his blog to debate not Jeff.

    But the main issue about which I am confused revolves around the question of what makes Rush’s comments controversial. In his original post on the subject, Patterico prefaces his concerns with congeniality and well wishes for Rush, informs readers which of Rush’s remarks he finds troubling and then offers the reason for his concern thusly:

    But some of the things he says are designed principally to stir controversy and draw attention to himself. Like saying he hopes Obama fails. Rush knows his comments will elevate his profile and make him seem more important.

    I know: when he says he hopes Obama fails, he doesn’t mean he wants to see Americans suffer. He just doesn’t want liberal policies enacted because he thinks they’re bad for the country. I get it. I agree with that.

    But, you know, that’s nuance.

    The problem is, Americans have short attention spans and don’t always do nuance well. Just by writing the title of this post the way I did, I’ll get an angry reaction from some — even though, if you read the post, I haven’t said anything particularly negative about Limbaugh. As Allahpundit says:

    It’s Republicans who are suffering from having to thread the needle between defending Limbaugh and rejecting the “I want him to fail” rhetoric. What harm has Rush suffered? His stature’s never been greater, as he himself acknowledges right here.

    Indeed.

    He doesn’t specify in that post which Americans might not do nuance or how, precisely, that impacts his thesis. I presume (and would love to know if I’m wrong) from comments Patterico made elsewhere that the Americans to whom he is referring are low-information swing voters. I further presume (again, would love to know if/how I’m wrong) the impact on his thesis is that these voters might misunderstand his comments. His only addition to Allah’s assertion is “Indeed.” I take this to mean that he feels there is a genuine need to “reject the ‘I want him to fail’ rhetoric”.

    Why? What makes “I want Obama to fail” a controversial statement? Certainly not the context of the remark which makes everything rather clear. Patterico only references nuance. Which, I can only assume is meant to imply that these swing voters could easily reach really terrible conclusions about what Rush is saying here. They’re low-information, they don’t really know Rush necessarily; maybe they’ve never even heard of him, or if they have, all that they know of him comes from the MSM. And how are these low-information voters going to receive the word that Rush has said this? From the same media. In other words, it is the fact that basically everything these voters know about Rush is framed by people whom are hostile to him and his ideas, and willing to employ the power of entire communications empires to malign him. Would Rush’s statement be so controversial if these low-information voters had come to their knowledge of Rush through media institutions that didn’t empower tendentious liars?

    What predicates this need to “reject the ‘I want him to fail’ rhetoric”? Certainly not the mere existence of low-information voters. They, by their definition, are a reflection of the memes present in the most available media sources. Bringing it all together then, the media appears to be the predicate. Rush’s rhetoric was controversial because the media creates the controversy. If that’s not it, then why? Are these low-information voters coming to these conclusions about Rush all by themselves? Are they reading the transcripts of CPAC and isolating Rush’s remarks for scorn? Certainly not. They are being fed this stuff.

    And that is the key that unlocks understanding of Jeff’s response I think. The media is not merely breaking the rules. That of itself is unavoidable. Everyone breaks the rules. The media is working with and populated by people who are using it to attack the principles that animate the rules. When you couple that with the low-information voter, what you get is a recipe for people who not only can’t hear your thesis unless it’s presented in a certain way, but inevitably it will eventually become people who can’t hear your thesis no matter how it’s presented—people who aren’t allowed to hear your thesis.

    I could be wrong about what Patterico means about the controversial nature of Rush’s comments. I saw him refer elsewhere to Rush’s rhetoric as “inappropriate”, one meaning of which is something like “indecorous”. Is that the issue here? Is Patterico suggesting Rush’s comments are unrefined, or indelicate? I don’t think that’s what he’s saying, but it’s the only alternative I can imagine (and perhaps my imagination is too small) to the notion that the controversial nature of Rush’s remarks is derived from the media that informs the potentially offended low-information voter.

    Allow me to try to put it very simply so that I can be rebutted easily:

    Patterico thesis: Statements made by prominent conservatives should not court controversy among low-information swing voters.

    Patterico unstated premise: This holds true even when the controversy is manufactured by a mendacious media.

    Jeff thesis: Unequivocally offensive language notwithstanding, the meaning of a speaker’s words should not be allowed to be informed by those who would do damage to the “agency” (read: liberty) of the individual.

    I’m getting way prolixy here and I’m sorry about that. Let me address Mr. Frey directly. Should I have been wantonly insulting to you at any point in the past, I offer my sincere apology. I don’t believe I have been, but I’m imperfect and willing to cop to any example of such that I’m not remembering. I’d just sincerely like to see you address these questions. Acquit yourself from the field of battle with valor. Do not retreat. Jeff is no barbarian at the gate. He’s a worthy adversary. What’s more, there are people—people with intelligence and integrity—what think Jeff is playing a profoundly important role. I think his argument deserves to be addressed. I’m certain this debate has generated traffic for both of you, and I think that speaks to the importance of informing the interested the best way that empirical, rational thinkers and leaders do; by respecting the need to have the debate.

  374. Hey, Joe. For some reason we got lumped together. Guess they can tell a Marine from a civilian, yes?

    Semper Fi.

  375. You are a smart guy, daleyrocks. I’m sure you are. Why then would you attribute “helping perpetuate what, at least on Patterico’s part, he knows to be a lie**….” as a lie on Pat’s part, when it’s a lie that Pat knows the media, in Ed Henry for one, and the Obama Admin. in Robert Gibbs for another, are perpetrating? Pat hasn’t attributed “Limbaugh wants the economy to fail” to Limbaugh, at least nowhere that I’ve seen. Nor do I believe that Jeff has suggested that Pat has done. Pat has attributed “Limbaugh wants the economy to fail” to the media (and others, I’d guess). So what’s up with that?

  376. “I was offended by an unnecessary ad hominem. Nothing else. You’ll notice I have not attacked you or Pat. Why the hostility?”

    BigD – I believe I just explained myself again. Let me try once more. Dan attempted this post as a way to cool things down between the two sites. Then right off the bat, you and Joe pipe up and say, yeah, but Patterico never responded to Jeff’s arguments. Totally unnecessary glaring statements of the obvious, which I would not consider in the spirit of Dan’s post.

  377. Shoot, that doesn’t look right, Joe. You know what I meant.

  378. Why the lack of response to the specific points Jeff has raised?

    Repeated lack of response.

  379. OK daleyrocks, and that’s perfectly valid. But why the “spoonfed” crack.

  380. “Cute trick on the missspelling.”

    Molon – Not so cute trick on your perseveration on the same point. Are you expecting to achieve something?

  381. Now this:

    Nowhere have I ever argued that there aren’t times for changing rhetorical strategy based on audience, context, etc. In fact, I would argue that of course one needs to do so.

    Good. We’re in agreement that this does not necessarily mean pulling your punches or saying something less than you mean.

    But the context here was a conservative radio host being asked to give preemptive support to a man who he identifies as a threat to our system of government.

    I don’t expect him to do that.

    Further, the host has an established style. And his audience expects a certain kind of formulation. If anything, Limbaugh matched his utterance precisely to his intended audience(s).

    Yes, to his conservative audience. But when that audience expands to include undecideds and hostiles, and he’s talking about something as sensitive as Americans losing their jobs, I think he needs to make it very clear what he means. Either that he doesn’t want to see them lose their jobs — or if he does, as part of a master plan to fight socialism, a much harder sell, then he needs a damn good explanation of why. The normal stuff that the dittoheads lap up won’t cut it.

    And I say audiences because, like Howard Stern, Rush knows that much of his audience is those that hate him and are looking to try to take his words out of context. Does he bait them to do so? Of course. Is that a winning strategy? For him it’s been. But what Patterico wants to know is, is this a winning strategy for Republicans and conservatives?

    Correct.

    His answer is no — and in making that argument, he is essentially saying that Rush Limbaugh is either 1) doing his job poorly as a voice for conservatism, at least in this instance; and 2) Patterico thinks there is a better way for Rush to do that job.

    This is a question of tactics and taste, for Patterico — and nowhwere have I made the claim that those aren’t valid concerns.

    No, it’s not a question of taste. And it’s only a question of tactics in the sense that the need for clarity is heightened when the audience is hostile — and in that sense only, a change of tactics is required.

    Still, my post links two instances — Bill Bennett’s “racism” problem, even though he clearly tried very hard to frame his argument in a way where it couldn’t be taken out of context; and Tony Snow’s use of “tar baby”, wherein his accusers literally admitted to knowing that he meant nothing racial by the use of the phrase, which has several established meanings.

    In both instances, the left was able to take meaning and resignify it a way that it would be used to taint conservatives with racism. And in both cases they should not have been allowed to do so — because that is not how language works, unless WE agree to allow it to work that way. And if we do, we cede the grounds of meaning to those who would presume to tell us what it is we mean.

    Those examples go to the heart of the issue: you can’t concern yourself with UNREASONABLE possible interpretations of your words. But you can and should concern yourself with REASONABLE ones.

    Darleen brought up the example of the monkey cartoon. I wholeheartedly agree that Rupert Murdoch should have told Al Sharpton to suck it. Tony Snow should have told the race hustlers to suck it over the tar baby thing. On Bill Bennett, it’s less clear — why raise an issue about race when you’re talking about abortion? It seems like an unnecessary distraction. But that’s a different debate.

    In the case of Limbaugh, might he have used a more diplomatic approach? Naturally.

    But I’m not arguing about being diplomatic in this instance. Not that I think being diplomatic doesn’t have its place, but that’s not the problem with the “I hope he fails” formulation.

    To the extent that this — consistent with previous references to my commenters as top hat wearers and such — puts me in the position of being That Guy Who Is Worried About Diplomacy, it’s not accurate as applied to this situation. Diplomacy is not my argument.

    Would a different approach have proven more productive for conservatism, or more helpful to Republicans? That’s debatable: from my perspective, anything that shines a light on the way the left coopts meaning is useful. From Rush’s perspective, it builds his brand. Patterico and Allah think Rush’s utterance, in this instance, made things difficult.

    Fine.

    But then, I never said that Patterico and others were ceding ground to the left intentionally or even knowingly. What I’m arguing is that the impetus for questioning the way Rush delivered the line is the concern that his doing so makes it difficult to defend him, because it requires nuance to get around what we know the left will do with such an utterance. And that could be avoided.

    It’s not even what the left will do with it, but what well-meaning reasonable people in the center might take from it.

    My contention is there are several ways to avoid such a thing. Patterico and Allah illustrate one such way — a kind of self-editing in the utterance.

    That connotes holding back the truth — and that’s the way many here took it. That’s not what I mean.

    But that is really up to the speaker — and, because none of us are Rush Limbaugh, we aren’t responsible for his meaning or way of making his point.

    No, we aren’t — but if he is set up as the de facto head of the conservative movement, which is what I opposed in my original post, then the conservative movement will be tarred with his statements.

    The other — and to my mind, proper — way to avoid this kind of discomfort is to point out that Rush speaks for himself, and that his meaning was clear. He meant what he meant.

    If he is set up as the de facto leader of the conservative movement then he will speak for others. My point is I don’t want him to speak for me. And his meaning was not altogether clear.

    If you would like then to argue about whether what he meant is a valid wish, let’s do so. But what we REFUSE TO ACCEPT is any formulation of Rush Limbaugh’s words that don’t respect his intent.

    That’s fine, but I refuse to accept my movement being tarred with a formulation that a reasonable listener might interpret as saying he wants Americans to lose jobs.

    Which is precisely what the media is requiring us to address: their refiguring of Rush’s statement, cropped and edited in a way that is most suggestive of nefariousness on his part — and formulated that way intentionally to put us on the defensive.

    As the Bennett and Snow examples show, ANYTHING can be excerpted and used in this way — precisely because we allow it to be by giving credence to a certain idea of interpretation that is, by its very nature, incoherent, and also by its very nature undermines the common ground for meaning, and so opens up discourse to meaning by will and consensus of motivated groups who simply insist the loudest.

    This is not how language works, and to accept those premises is necessarily to cede ground.

    I don’t accept allowing the meaning to be decided by the people who insist the loudest, and when did I ever say that?

    Given that the only reason we are concerned about Rush’s tone is that we fear we’ll have to explain ourselves to unnuanced Americans once the press is able to formulate his statement in a way that suits them, it is my argument that it is best to stop the latter than to worry ourselves over the former.

    I AM NOT CONCERNED ABOUT RUSH’S TONE IN THIS INSTANCE.

    I have laid out what my actual concerns were, and my fingers are about to fall off.

    The former is a tactic. The latter is is the strategy. And it is the strategy that needs to be defeated.

    In short, we are happy to have a discussion about what he MEANT, if that’s something that needs discussing (and of course, further, we are under no obligation to do so: Steele can just tell people to ask Rush about what Rush said, because he’s quite capable of explaining it); but we will no longer — and SHOULD NO LONGER — dignify questions that begin by taking us out of context.

    Agree.

    And rather than worry that because unnuanced Americans will buy into such dishonest formulations, we should alter our formulations (which the Bennett and Snow examples prove is a losing strategy), it is time instead to insist that the dishonest formulations be treated as such, and called out as such, so that it becomes unproductive for the media to continue the practice.

    There’s dishonest formulations and there’s reasonable ones. I have explained at length the different things Limbaugh could have meant.

    To allow the first, as a pragmatic strategy for short-term gains, only delays the inevitable. And so to select that method is to, however unwittingly and with however noble an intent, to cede to an idea of language that can only lead to liberal fascism or, in today’s terms, “progressivism”.

    As OUTLAWS, we’ll be part of the solution.

    I don’t have all weekend to respond to responses. I have spent all day at the computer now and I have serious work — job related work — to do tomorrow. I don’t expect I’ll be commenting on this any more. But I’ve spent some time now laying out my thoughts. I hope that helps matters.

  382. “But why the “spoonfed” crack.”

    BigD – Weren’t you demanding explanations even though you claimed to “get” Patterico? Isn’t that equivalent to asking to be spoonfed?

  383. Now that I see daleyrocks’ argument, I am reminded:

    In suggesting that the trouble here is that Republicans are straddled with the burden of having to explain Limbaugh’s nuance, Patterico (and Allah) are not only conceding the linguistic ground to the left, they are now actually helping perpetuate what, at least on Patterico’s part, he knows to be a lie**….”

    I sure do not believe I have helped perpetuate what I know to be a lie. I don’t ever do that.

  384. I don’t expect I’ll be commenting on this any more.

    I do.

  385. “But then, I never said that Patterico and others were ceding ground to the left intentionally or even knowingly.”

    Except in the first full sentence of your post.

    BAM!

    There it is again and you keep fucking ignoring it.

  386. …dismisses an argument that Patterico did not make, that ground shopuld be ceded to the left.

    I’m not sure you understand what Jeff is saying about ceding ground. He never suggested that Pat was actively arguing in favor of ceding group. Jeff is saying that those who would destroy human agency through the “democratization of meaning” are squelching not only Rush or Santelli or whomever else, they’re squelching the foundation for freedom of speech (not just FOS itself, the epistemic claims that underly it). Allowing those people to frame what is and isn’t controversial for the low-information voter is of far greater detriment than the short-term possibility that those same voters might continue to be led astray while we work on reaffirming those epistemic claims.

  387. It’s a moot point as Frey has engaged, but his objection to engaging JeffG, as repeated countless times but here are two, is that he thinks it’s pointless because it will devolve into a shit fight:

    #204 “I explained in the thread you deleted why I hadn’t engaged you directly. I explained that it was doomed to spiral downward.”

    #217 “I recognized that when I talk to him, we get very angry at each other, and I wanted to avoid that.”

    What part of that can you possibly dispute?

  388. #377:

    “Which is why without his input on some very specific issues about which I (and apparently others) find confusing, it becomes difficult to impute valorous intent. Inasmuch as the lack of his input on these issues is a function of his recalcitrance, it becomes difficult to avoid imputing hubris.”

    You must have missed my #339. Seriously. You were writing a long comment and hadn’t seen it.

  389. “I’m not sure you understand what Jeff is saying about ceding ground.”

    Mal – That was not worded correctly. Thanks for pointing it out. By adjusting or changing our language we are ceding ground, would have been better.

  390. I blame global warming. Makes everyone edgy.

  391. …a reasonable listener might interpret as saying he wants Americans to lose jobs.

    Now that, I think, is silly.

  392. I’ll directly take issue with that. We should always be free to say what we mean. But there are different ways of doing that, and if you care about being persuasive, the way you choose may depend on your audience.

    I addressed this today. Rush has an audience. He knows it. They know him. He is also aware, like Howard Stern, that part of his audience is comprised of those who hate him and are looking to take him out of context. He has chosen to let them do so if they wish.

    If you have a hostile audience determined to misunderstand what you say, I believe you have to be aware of the potential for misinterpretation.

    I addressed this in the Bennett post specifically. Being aware that you can be taken out of context doesn’t mean you are compelled to begin guarding against it — or else you end up losing all your rhetorical force. Which is what those who take you out of context are hoping to do, either by silencing you or demonizing you. Bennett tried that and they simply cut out the context that provided his disclaimer. In the case of Snow, they admitted to knowing he wasn’t using a phrase a certain way, but that didn’t matter: someone might take it wrong, the argument went.

    The only reason these are even issues is because we allow people to frame our meaning. They don’t have that right.

    If you say, without elaboration, “I hope Obama fails,” you could mean any number of different things. If you KNOW you mean one of those, and you KNOW there’s a chance someone could take it to mean a different one, then I think you have a duty to say which you mean so there’s no misunderstanding.

    His audience knows what he meant. And the debate as it’s been framed by the media has nothing to do with your hypotheticals. Rush has elaborated on it, and he always has that capability. This hypothetical in which his words are frozen in time and must only be considered as they stood in the way you’ve presented them in your poll is not at issue. Even so, you say in that original post that you know what Limbaugh meant. So asking me to respond to something you hadn’t yet argued is a bit unfair.

    What kills me is having this opinion of mine stated as “So don’t say what you think.” No, DO say what you think. Try to say it as clearly as possible — and when you know the danger of misinterpretation is high, because there is a hostile audience, be as clear as possible.

    You should always try to signal your intent clearly, if what you want is to be clear. I don’t think Limbaugh failed in that regard — the fine tuning you’ve been trying to tease out subsequently to the contrary. Again, the media wasn’t worried about such a supple parsing. And of course, you can always clarify. Which Limbaugh has done repeatedly.

    And if you want to say something forcefully — but you are worried that there’s a high probability that you will be taken intentionally out of context, you will begin to self-censor. Limbaugh is not writing and editing a brief; he’s speaking on the radio, generally extemporaneously. The very nature of what he does requires, often times, amplification and clarification to finally shape a point perfectly.

    To expect him to be able to do it perfectly at all times because otherwise his musings may be ripe for misinterpretation by a hostile audience is to back a fool’s game. Your complaint was not that Rush wasn’t clear (though subsequently you’ve made that argument). Your complaint was, yeah, I know what he meant, but many Americans aren’t so nuanced, and he shouldn’t be needlessly provocative, otherwise the press will be able to find a formulation to sway those unnuanced people into believing exactly what they want them to believe.

    But the question there is, who gets to decide the efficacy of his provocation? If it gets us talking about language and who owns it, that’s good, in my opinion. If it forces Republican leaders on the spot, that’s problematic, in yours and Allah’s opinion.

    But it’s only problematic because Republican leaders are made to feel like they have to answer for (or to) Limbaugh. They don’t. And they should say as much. Somebody in the press asks them what they think about “Rush wanting Obama to fail,” they should say, “well, I don’t think you’re properly contextualizing what he said — in fact, the question as you’ve phrased it is disingenuous — but beyond that, why the hell don’t you ask Rush? Do I look like Rush Limbaugh?”

    The reason they don’t do that is because they’ve accepted the media’s (and the left’s) premises — both about how interpretation works, and, something I haven’t even talked about yet, in terms of tribalism and identity politics. Again, why should a radio host be presumed to speak for all conservatives?

    Funny. I don’t feel like I’m part of the problem. I feel like a conservative making an argument.

    That’s the problem. Which is to say, you don’t recognize how you are part of the problem. The problem here is not that Limbaugh wasn’t clear. As I’ve noted, he can always clarify even were he not. The problem is that the media took what they wanted from him, didn’t really care much for any kind of clarification, and spun it in a way that sounded provocative. You think this could have been avoided. And you’re right. Should it have been? Not my call. But what is perfectly clear, at least to me, is that the problem is with the media’s deliberate desire to turn this into a scandal. And while not being provocative may help avoid that, it also means that there is no discussion. I’d rather critics try to shout me down than destroy the efficacy of my message by giving the media an excuse to conclude that it’s not “newsworthy.”

    You should have the freedom to phrase things your own way and have them mean what they mean. But if you’re a spokesman for a movement that I’m a part of, I want the freedom to say that, while I may agree with what you say, the way you’re saying it is counterproductive (in this case, because it’s ambiguous).

    You have the right to say that and think that. Again, that’s a question of strategy, and nowhere have I said you can’t find fault with a particular player’s strategy.

    But that wasn’t your original argument. Your original argument was that it was provocative and not expressed in a way that made it so crystal clear that the media couldn’t help but not take it out of context. In your original argument, you “got” what he was saying.

    In subsequent arguments, you’re now claiming that the problem was with ambiguity. But that’s not the problem, because the media never felt the message was ambiguous. All they heard — and all they propagated — was “Limbaugh hopes Obama fails,” with the unspoken corollary being that Limbaugh is hoping for the United States to crash and burn. The extrapolating you’ve been doing, while it may prove interesting as a thought experiment, is a red herring; it has nothing to do either with the original argument or the facts that made this story a story in the first place.

    When Limbaugh says something that has multiple interpretations, and I don’t know for sure which he means, he makes it hard for me to call the media on their dishonesty. Some clarity would help. I want to call the media on their dishonesty. But it’s easier to fight that battle when the speaker doesn’t lead with his chin.

    While you can perhaps, were you to strain, interpret the initial statement in multiple ways (I think it was very clear from the full context, which I posted), the fact is, there is no “rule” that says Limbaugh can’t clarify. Which he’s done. What he meant is what he meant, and he’s explained it.

    The media has presented his statement to mean he wants to country to fail. That he’s treasonous. Fact is, he wants the opposite. I don’t see the difficulty in calling the media out on that lie — and I see only harm in pretending that there was ever really a question that they may have presented what he said accurately, fairly, and in its proper context, an important part of that context being that the prompt itself asked for him to give Obama preemptive well wishes.

    If we have a Republican president, would you prefer an inarticulate numbskull who is always being misunderstood, or one who clearly conveys his thoughts — all other things being equal? I want the articulate guy.

    I want the articulate guy, too. Naturally. I also want a harem. And millions of raw oysters. But what does that have to do with anything?

    If we have a President who means something and is constantly being taken out of context by the media — whether it’s because he’s not the best speaker, or because, even though he is, they can suggestively edit his comments — what we still have is the intentional misinterpretation. To believe it won’t happen because a speaker is perfectly precise is naive. Beyond that, why should it be allowed to happen at all, even to someone who isn’t the most precise speaker?

    What if he has the ability to clearly convey his thoughts — but chooses to convey them in an ambiguous way for some personal reason? I’m not happy with that either.

    Artists do this all the time. Open texts are a part of life. But in Limbaugh’s case, that’s not what happened. He may have been provocative — and he may have baited the media into playing its game of intentional misinterpretation — but that doesn’t change what he meant. And from where I stand, he baited the media into taking him out of context, providing the perfect opportunity to rush in and take back language.

    Limbaugh doesn’t deal with language on the academic level like I tend to, but he often says “words mean things.” Simplistic, but what he’s done here is draw out those who use misinterpretation and the faux outrage they can generate from it as a tool to attack their enemies and put them on the defensive. Like screaming “racism,” it hopes to halt debate and go right to demonizing. And it is our obligation to call them on it.

    I don’t think it’s empowering stupidity or pandering to it to counsel someone to say something as clearly as possible and try to avoid formulation that are easily twisted — all other things being equal.

    All other things are not equal, though. The press will take you out of context even if you are careful (see Bennett); they will “ask questions” about possible racism even if they already agree that’s not what you meant (see Snow). They use this kind of linguistic attack as a weapon to put conservatives on the defensive and, in the long run, to weary us into capitulating.

    THIS DOES NOT MEAN DON’T TELL THE TRUTH. IT DOES NOT MEAN DON’T SAY WHAT YOU THINK.

    Agree with the former, disagree with the later. Part of what you think can be expressed in the way you say something. If you say something in such a way that it has no force, it is possible no one will pay attention to what you think. And once that begins happening, unless you’re a blogger, you’ll eventually give up trying to make your points. And that is one of the objectives of the kind of strategy for interpretation and meaning the left deploys.

    If there is only one way to tell the truth, and any other formulation is less truthful, say it the way you gotta say it ven if it pisses people off.

    But if there are two equally truthful ways to say something, and one is clearer and less ambiguous, choose that one.

    Again, you wouldn’t want to do this in all cases, but that’s not really the discussion. If you think Limbaugh should have said his piece more clearly, fine. But he knows his audience and ultimately it’s his choice. What he can’t control is how he is going to be framed by those looking to sabotage him by altering his meaning intentionally. AndI think you should be more concerned that the left has proposed linguistic rules that give them that particular power moreso than with finding ways not to run afoul of it. [Note to daleyrocks: this is what I mean by ceding language to the the left; plugging the damn with your fingers is not the same as tearing it down, letting the water run out, letting it evaporate, and then, finally, declaring yourself dry]

    As applied to this situation, Rush could say “I know he’ll fail” as opposed to “I hope he fails” and probably more clearly convey what most here think he meant.

    That wasn’t what he was asked. And Rush didn’t know he’d fail, but he did hope he would. Whether he will remains to be seen, but Limbaugh is now able to deal with the policies as they are implemented and, as a result, continually clarify and strengthen his position.

    Controversy to get a point across is often a more powerful rhetorical tool than a rather tepid rehearsal of the same points. Baiting your opponents into doing what they do — intentionally take you out of context, and so essentially try to get people outraged over a misreprsentation of your position — can prove fruitful.

    I’m seeing a lot of outrage on the right, and a lot of pushback. Sure, you and a few others seem concerned that this is making things tough for people like Michael Steele and others, but personally, I hope it means they finally learn that this is a mug’s game, and begin answering these ridiculous questions like they should — in the process showing the media that the tactic itself is no longer productive.

    And I hope people begin insisting that’s what they’re getting in somebody who wishes to earn a vote.

    OUTLAW!

  393. Patrick – Don’t forget Halliburton’s share of the blame.

  394. “BigD – Weren’t you demanding explanations even though you claimed to “get” Patterico? Isn’t that equivalent to asking to be spoonfed?”

    No. What I said was that if he comes to the man’s site, he should address the man directly. At that point it had gone beyond the original argument. It was a question of manners. Call me old fashioned, but if you come into a man’s house, you should talk to him.

    My point at comment #2 is that Pat should have directed his comments to Jeff, which he has subsequently done. No need to get nasty, daley. Where you get spoofed from that, I don’t know. We disagree. Leave it at that.

  395. Can we stop saying I’ve refused to engage Jeff, at least? I did in 339 and I’m still seeing that I haven’t in 382.

    Then I did again in 385.

    Closing the window now. Watching a movie with the wife and working tomorrow. May be back and may not. But I think it doesn’t matter. If I haven’t made my point in the literally dozens of comments I’ve made here, I won’t be able to with more comments tomorrow.

    Good night.

  396. malaclypse @ 1:01 am

    That is the clearest explanation of the problem I have seen. Bravo.

  397. Those examples go to the heart of the issue: you can’t concern yourself with UNREASONABLE possible interpretations of your words. But you can and should concern yourself with REASONABLE ones.

    To test this, you’d have to control for exposure to the mendacious media. Get, say, 1000 people that know Rush through the MSM content about him. Get another 1000 that have never heard of Rush and give them a more measured understanding of him. THEN ask them if his statement can be reasonably understood as “wants Americans to suffer economically”. Because THAT is the bigger issue. It’s bigger because tailoring your language to navigate the morass of disinformation being promulgated by the media is time consuming, awkward and most importantly, it tacitly reinforces the epistemic sophistry being perpetrated on the American people. It is the strategic desire to avoid putting your foot in a bear trap without acknowledging that the bear trap should not have been there in the first place.

  398. SDferr – You’re a smart guy. I just don’t understand your #379. Can you explain it slowly.

  399. Okay, this one has me totally confused:

    Jeff claims to be in Patterico’s mind, knows that he is lying, and dismisses an argument that Patterico did not make, that ground shopuld be ceded to the left.

    What I actually wrote:

    In the quoted portion, we get several admissions and assertions. 1. Patterico “gets” what Rush meant. 2. What Rush said was provocative, and understanding him required nuance. 3. Americans have a short attention span and “don’t do nuance well.” 4. Per Allah, the result of Rush’s provocateurism — coupled with Americans’ general lack of nuance — is that “Republicans […] are suffering from having to thread the needle between defending Limbaugh and rejecting the “I want him to fail” rhetoric.” 5. More, Rush hasn’t suffered from this — only Republicans forced to try to defend him have. 6. To which Patrick agrees: “Indeed.”

    Now let’s look at my response again — the one that “misrepresents” the quote it follows:

    “In suggesting that the trouble here is that Republicans are straddled with the burden of having to explain Limbaugh’s nuance,[2,3,4,5,6] Patterico (and Allah) are not only conceding the linguistic ground to the left, they are now actually helping perpetuate what, at least on Patterico’s part, he knows to be a lie**….[1]”

    I guess I’m missing the part where I’m in Patterico’s mind. And the part about ceding language is a thesis statement — one I not only have argued, but one that, in this post, was linked to earlier pieces as glosses.

    The rest…. well, I don’t think you’re on to what you think you’re onto.

  400. “Can we stop saying I’ve refused to engage Jeff, at least?”

    I reckon so. Why didn’t you do this last night? Although I must say that watching two top minds go at it has been educational.

  401. Patterico, bravo for responding.

    #400 – Thanks, but I just paraphrase Jeff mostly and throw in some of happyfeet’s formulations a lot I think.

  402. OMFG. #396. What a tour de force. What a crystallization of the fucking point. Nevermind daley, I now know why Patterico didn’t engage. It’s a knife/gunfight situation.

  403. So then it should go like this:

    Conservative: Wow, its really dark in here.
    Liberal: Gasp. You’re being racist! Apologize.
    Conservative: Go fuck yourself. *turns up lights*

  404. Can we stop saying I’ve refused to engage Jeff, at least? I did in 339 and I’m still seeing that I haven’t in 382.

    I don’t want to respond to Jeff’s argument today for the same reason I didn’t want to respond to Jeff’s arguments (and yes, pointedly ignored them) during the last couple of days.

    I stand by “Repeated lack of response.”

  405. You must have missed my #339. Seriously. You were writing a long comment and hadn’t seen it.

    Indeed. I’ve got to start refreshing the thread while I type.

  406. Is this entire dust-up basically an argument of Intentionalism vs. Formalism/Reader-response Theory? The intent of the speaker is what gives their statements meaning rather than societal/cultural determinations or mob decree. This is new territory for me…

  407. I addressed this today. Rush has an audience. He knows it. They know him. He is also aware, like Howard Stern, that part of his audience is comprised of those who hate him and are looking to take him out of context. He has chosen to let do so if they wish.

    I’m not talking about being taken out of context in this case. I’m talking about saying something that’s ambiguous and is susceptible of multiple reasonable interpretations — one of which you know you mean, and some of which you know you don’t.

    If you have a hostile audience determined to misunderstand what you say, I believe you have to be aware of the potential for misinterpretation.

    I addressed this in the Bennett post specifically. Being aware that you can be taken out of context doesn’t mean you are compelled to begin guarding against it — or else you end up losing all your rhetorical force. Which is what those who take you out of context are hoping to do, either by silencing you or demonizing you. Bennett tried that and they simply cut out the context that provided his disclaimer. In the case of Snow, they admitted to knowing he wasn’t using a phrase a certain way, but that didn’t matter: someone might take it wrong, the argument went.

    The only reason these are even issues is because we allow people to frame our meaning. They don’t have that right.

    Again, I’m not talking about being taken out of context. If he had made his meaning clear — as I think it’s clear he didn’t — we’d have a closer case. But he didn’t.

    His audience knows what he meant. And the debate as it’s been framed by the media has nothing to do with your hypotheticals. Rush has elaborated on it, and he always has that capability. This hypothetical in which his words are frozen in time and must only be considered as they stood in the way you’ve presented them in your poll is not at issue. Even so, you say in that original post that you know what Limbaugh meant. So asking me to respond to something you hadn’t yet argued is a bit unfair.

    I’m pretty sure I’ve argued the ambiguity throughout the comment threads, but let’s not argue about who killed who. I’m making the argument now.

    His elaboration does not make clear whether, assuming Obama’s policies are enacted, he would be willing to see the country suffer economically to see those policies fail and be discredited.

    You should always try to signal your intent clearly, if what you want is to be clear. I don’t think Limbaugh failed in that regard — the fine tuning you’re trying to tease out subsequently to the contrary. Again, the media wasn’t worried about such a fine parsing. And of course, you can always clarify. Which Limbaugh has no repeatedly.

    Not in a way that answers the critical issue: assuming Obama’s policies are enacted, he would be willing to see the country suffer economically to see those policies fail and be discredited.

    And if you want to say something forcefully — but you are worried that there’s a high probability that you will be taken intentionally out of context, you will begin to self-censor. Limbaugh is not writing and editing a brief; he’s speaking on the radio, generally extemporaneously. The very nature of what he does requires, often times, amplification and clarification to finally shape a point perfectly.

    We’re mainly talking about a speech. And I’m not talking about taking him out of context. That too can be a concern — but it’s a different one than I’m addressing and a closer question.

    To expect him to be able to do it perfectly at all times because otherwise it may be ripe for misinterpretation by a hostile audience is to back a fool’s game. Your complaint was not that Rush wasn’t clear (though subsequently you’ve made that argument). Your complaint was, yeah, I know what he mean, but many Americans aren’t so nuanced, and he shouldn’t be needlessly provocative.

    My complaint was that of course I know that when he says he hopes Obama fails, he doesn’t mean he wants to see Americans suffer. Of course he doesn’t want liberal policies enacted. But people who hear “I hope he fails” might hear something different.

    Is that taking him out of context? I was directed to the full context of his remarks and told it’s quite clear — and if it had been, it would be a context problem. But when I was told to do that, I found his remarks were not quite clear at all.

    I still believe that when he says he hopes Obama fails, he doesn’t mean he wants to see Americans suffer. I think it would be a serious attack on any patriotic American to say otherwise. And of course he doesn’t want liberal policies enacted. None of us do.

    But precisely whether he would be willing to see a short-term failure with concomitant suffering, in the pursuit of longer-term success — that part is unclear. And he didn’t make that part clear — still hasn’t.

    But the question there is, who gets to decide the efficacy of his provocation? If it gets us talking about language and who owns it, that’s good, in my opinion. If it forces Republican leaders on the spot, that’s problematic, in yours and Allah’s opinion.

    But it’s only problematic because Republican leaders are made to feel like they have to answer for (or to) Limbaugh. They don’t. And they should say as much.

    Well, actually, my initial post said I don’t want him set up as the de facto head of the conservative movement. But many people see him that way. I think we should say he’s not. So we agree there, and I’ve always said that.

    Somebody in the press asks them what they think about “Rush wanting Obama to fail,” they should say, “well, I don’t think you’re properly contextualizing what he said — in fact, the question as you’ve phrased it is disingenuous — but beyond that, why the hell don’t you ask Rush? Do I look like Rush Limbaugh?”

    The reason they don’t do that is because they’ve accepted the media’s (and the left’s) premises — both about how interpretation works, and, something I haven’t even talked about yet, in terms of tribalism and identity politics. Again, why should a radio host be presumed to speak for all conservatives?

    He shouldn’t. It’s still harmful because the question then gets put to them: so speak for yourself. Do YOU want Obama to fail?

    And phrasing it in that way is not helpful because it’s a very difficult and nuanced argument to make to explain that yes, you want his policies to fail but no, only in the sense that you want them not enacted. You don’t want them to fail in the sense that you want Americans out of work. (Or, maybe you do — but in the service of a higher cause.) This way of framing the question is not good for conservatives, and with Limbaugh framing it that way, the media frames it that way. You can reject it in your answer but you can’t escape it being asked that way.

    That’s the problem. Which is to say, you don’t recognize how you are part of the problem. The problem here is not that Limbaugh wasn’t clear.

    Yes it is.

    As I’ve noted, he can always clarify even were he not. The problem is that the media took what they wanted from him, didn’t really care much for any kind of clarification, and spun it in a way that sounded provocative. You think this could have been avoided. And you’re right. Should it have been? Not my call. But what is perfectly clear, at least to me, is that the problem is with the media’s deliberate desire to turn this into a scandal. And while not being provocative may help avoid that, it also means that there is no discussion. I’d rather critics try to shout me down than destroy the efficacy of my message by giving the media an excuse to conclude that it’s not “newsworthy.”

    You should have the freedom to phrase things your own way and have them mean what they mean. But if you’re a spokesman for a movement that I’m a part of, I want the freedom to say that, while I may agree with what you say, the way you’re saying it is counterproductive (in this case, because it’s ambiguous).

    You have the right to say that and think that. Again, that’s a question of strategy, and nowhere have I said you can’t find fault with a particular player’s strategy.

    But that wasn’t your original argument. Your original argument was that it was provocative and not expressed in a way that made it so crystal clear that the media couldn’t help but not take it out of context. In your original argument, you “got” what he was saying.

    I got what he was saying on a generalized level — but in terms of whether he would hope for a short-term economic failure to prove conservatism’s success, I didn’t. I said that REPEATEDLY in the comments.

    In subsequent arguments, you’re now claiming that the problem was with ambiguity. But that’s not the problem, because the media never felt the message was ambiguous.

    What? The problem is with ambiguity. The media need not see the message as ambiguous for there to be an ambiguity problem. The media need only take one of the two reasonable meanings and run with it.

    All they heard — and all they propagated — was “Limbaugh hopes Obama fails,” with the unspoken corollary being that Limbaugh is hoping for the United States to crash and burn.

    Indeed. And to suggest that he wants the country to crash and burn in the long run is silly. To hypothesize that he might in the short run is not. It’s choice #2 in my poll and lots of people — conservatives — said that was the ONLY POSSIBLE WAY to read his remarks.

    The extrapolating you’ve been doing, while it may prove interesting as a thought experiment, is a red herring; it has nothing to do either with the original argument or the facts that made this story a story in the first place.</blockquote?

    I think it has everything to do with both, as I have explained.

    When Limbaugh says something that has multiple interpretations, and I don’t know for sure which he means, he makes it hard for me to call the media on their dishonesty. Some clarity would help. I want to call the media on their dishonesty. But it’s easier to fight that battle when the speaker doesn’t lead with his chin.

    While you can perhaps, were you to strain, interpret the initial statement in multiple ways (I think it was very clear from the full context, which I posted), the fact is, there is no “rule” that says Limbaugh can’t clarify. Which he’s done. What he meant is what he meant, and he’s explained it.

    It’s not straining. I had people in good faith at my site claiming that the ONLY POSSIBLE INTERPRETATION was x, or y, or z. His subsequent explanations never address the question: if you assume Obama’s policies are in place, do you want to see them fail or succeed?

    The media has presented his statement to mean he wants to country to fail. That he’s treasonous. Fact is, he wants the opposite.

    He may want the country to fail in the short run. He hasn’t made this clear.

    I don’t see the difficulty in calling the media out on that lie — and I see only harm in pretending that there was ever really a question that they may have presented what he said accurately, fairly, and in its proper context, an important part of that context being that the prompt itself asked for him to give Obama preemptive well wishes.

    If we have a Republican president, would you prefer an inarticulate numbskull who is always being misunderstood, or one who clearly conveys his thoughts — all other things being equal? I want the articulate guy.

    I want the articulate guy, too. Naturally. I also want a harem. And millions of raw oysters. But what does that have to do with anything?

    If we have a President who means something and is constantly being taken out of context by the media — whether it’s because he’s not the best speaker, or because, even though he is, they can suggestively edit his comments — what we still have is the intentional misinterpretation. To believe it won’t happen because a speaker is perfectly precise is naive. Beyond that, why should it be allowed to happen at all, even to someone who isn’t the most precise speaker?

    What if he has the ability to clearly convey his thoughts — but chooses to convey them in an ambiguous way for some personal reason? I’m not happy with that either.

    Artists do this all the time. Open texts are a part of life. But in Limbaugh’s case, that’s not what happened. He may have been provocative — and he may have baited the media into playing its game of intentional misinterpretation — but that doesn’t change what he meant. And from where I stand, he baited the media into taking him out of context, providing the perfect opportunity to rush in and take back language.

    He should take it back with more clarity.

    Limbaugh doesn’t deal with language on the academic level like I tend to, but he often says “words mean things.” Simplistic, but what he’s done here is draw out those who use misinterpretation and the faux outrage they can generate from it as a tool to attack their enemies and put them on the defensive. Like screaming “racism,” it hopes to halt debate and go right to demonizing. And it is our obligation to call them on it.

    I don’t think it’s empowering stupidity or pandering to it to counsel someone to say something as clearly as possible and try to avoid formulation that are easily twisted — all other things being equal.

    All other things are not equal, though. The press will take you out of context even if you are careful (see Bennett); they will “ask questions” about possible racism even if they already agree that’s not what you meant (see Snow). They use this kind of linguistic attack as a weapon to put conservatives on the defensive and, in the long run, to weary us into capitulating.

    So why empower them to do that by baiting them into asking about misinterpretations? Why not be clearer and make that task harder for them?

    THIS DOES NOT MEAN DON’T TELL THE TRUTH. IT DOES NOT MEAN DON’T SAY WHAT YOU THINK.

    Agree with the former, disagree with the later. Part of what you think can be expressed in the way you say something.

    But you’ve agreed that one must modulate their approach to the audience at times.

    If you say something in such a way that it has no force, it is possible no one will pay attention to what you think.

    I’m not arguing not to say it with force.

    And once that begins happening, unless you’re a blogger, you’ll eventually give up trying to make your points. And that is one of the objectives of the kind of strategy for interpretation and meaning the left deploys.

    If there is only one way to tell the truth, and any other formulation is less truthful, say it the way you gotta say it ven if it pisses people off.

    But if there are two equally truthful ways to say something, and one is clearer and less ambiguous, choose that one.

    Again, you wouldn’t want to do this in all cases, but that’s not really the discussion. If you think Limbaugh should have said his piece more clearly, fine. But he knows his audience and ultimately it’s his choice. What he can’t control is how he is going to be framed by those looking to sabotage him by altering his meaning intentionally. AndI think you should be more concerned that the left has proposed linguistic rules that give them that particular power moreso than with finding ways not to run afoul of it.

    I’m concerned with both.

    As applied to this situation, Rush could say “I know he’ll fail” as opposed to “I hope he fails” and probably more clearly convey what most here think he meant.

    That wasn’t what he was asked. And Rush didn’t know he’d fail, but he did hope he would. Whether he will remains to be seen, but Limbaugh is now able to deal with the policies as they are implemented and, as a result, continually clarify and strengthen his position.

    Controversy to get a point across is often a more powerful rhetorical tool than a rather tepid rehearsal of the same points. Baiting your opponents into doing what they do — intentionally take you out of context, and so essentially try to get people outraged over a misreprsentation of your position — can prove fruitful.

    That’s a decent argument as I conceded ages ago to Jeffersonian.

    I’m seeing a lot of outrage on the right, and a lot of pushback. Sure, you and a few others seem concerned that this is making things tough for people like Michael Steele and others, but personally, I hope it means they finally learn that this is a mug’s game, and begin answering these ridiculous questions like they should — in the process showing the media that the tactic itself is no longer productive.

    And I hope people begin insisting that’s what they’re getting in somebody who wishes to earn a vote.

    I’m all for pushback, but I’m less convinced than you are that we can overcome media distortions simply with pushback. I think being less ambiguous and clearer is part of the strategy.

  408. Sorry, forgot one of the close tags for the blockquote. Damn lack of preview.

  409. See, fundamentally I don’t see a big difference between a) he was unclear and ambiguous and b) he said something in a way that he knew the media could distort.

    Let’s assume for the sake of argument that, of the possibilities I offered in my poll, Limbaugh did not mean #2. He meant #1 or the “third way” described by some.

    If it were UNREASONABLE to think he could have meant #2, then he shouldn’t worry about the possible interpretation/distortion of his remarks as meaning #2.

    But it’s a reasonable interpretation. Many have signed onto it.

    So he should have worried. If that’s not what he meant, he should have made that clear. If it is what he meant, he should have made clear that he wasn’t looking for long-term suffering, but only a short-term downturn with a purpose.

    When you say “I hope he fails” it’s not unreasonable to assume he could mean he hopes for a downturn. And while we all know he wants the country to succeed in the long run, he has never eliminated the possibility of a short-term downturn as a possibly desirable thing. Not that I’ve seen. Because nobody has pressed him on the question: even if his policies are in place, would you still HOPE they fail?

    It’s late. Hand hurts. Wife didn’t watch movie after all so I kept typing. I’m weary now.

  410. Two grown men on the same side (who should be fighting the opposition together) arguing like children who despise one another. Silly.

    Milton Friedman once said (paraphrasing) that the horizontal and vertical growth of government is the natural path of humanity, and that classical liberalism (particularly of the sort practiced in 19th century America) is the aberration. I don’t think the man could have been more correct had he tried to be. In any case, this ENTIRELY UNNECESSARY scuffle is a small part of the reason why that is the truth. It’s difficult enough trying to keep your fellow man off the natural path and pushing (which is what’s necessary) him towards the harder but better one without having to fight with those who, given they share your core beliefs, want to help you shove. That said, I’m glad things have moved back within the confines of civility.

  411. Imagine the Leftards reading this site, looking for juicy morsels they can turn in to their acid guano. All the while their secret desire: I wish I could say what I really think.

  412. @416
    Liberals reading this back-and-forth are either oblivious or scared. There will be no chops to lick, and no bones to pick through if an amalgam of these thoughts and ideas ever makes it into the living rooms of Americans. Progressivism would shrivel up and die if it were confronted with its actual opposite.

  413. Don’t argue! It looks bad! BAD!!!!!

    G-d forbid people should has out stuff like this. I guess in some people’s minds we should be talking about something more innocuous.

  414. If he had made his meaning clear — as I think it’s clear he didn’t — we’d have a closer case. But he didn’t.

    I don’t think it’s clear he didn’t.

    So why empower them to do that by baiting them into asking about misinterpretations? Why not be clearer and make that task harder for them?

    To draw attention to their game, for one.

    Why worry about how hard it is for them. Why not worry about making it unproductive to try to begin with?

    Dressing provocatively is not grounds for rape. And people can be raped even if they’re wearing Victorian garb and an armor-plated girdle. Where there’s the will there’s a way — particularly when the punishment becomes “well, she really was asking for it.”

    I’m all for pushback, but I’m less convinced than you are that we can overcome media distortions simply with pushback.

    That’s the only way. Until it begins to backfire, they won’t stop. In fact, it’s gotten worse over the last few years as the media has given up any pretense of objectivity.

    It’s well and good to be clear. But that won’t protect you from someone out to misinterpret you. It’ll only provide you with a better defense.

    The goal is to take away the tactic which is designed to put people on the defensive and weary them into capitulation. The best defense is a good offense.

    Unless you’re a Broncos fan.

  415. I’m not a leftist, Will. I don’t do lockstep.

  416. “It’s well and good to be clear. But that won’t protect you from someone out to misinterpret you. It’ll only provide you with a better defense.”

    Well, that’s part of what I’ve been arguing. Going into a known attack with a better defense is better.

  417. Sure, but if you’re on the offence, they’re the ones needy of defence … that’ll be fun.

  418. Patterico lost me with this exchange. Portions were incivil and unwarranted, and in my view most of was embarrassingly trivial. I can’t abide finger pointing or a lousy tone of voice. I value principle over thousands of words expended being right for its own sake. And nobody likes sophistry. (OR NO PREVIEW, DAMMIT!)

    I’m all for pushback, but I’m less convinced than [Jeff is] that we can overcome media distortions simply with pushback.

    I’m all for freedom, Patterico, but apparently I’m less convinced we can recover it by requesting our rights. <- See what I did there?

  419. I said earlier

    Patterico wants to run Rush through a six-cycle car wash, complete with nice foamy wax, to polish him (and his message) shiny and bright, to impress the very people with whom we do battle. Unfortunately, that cleaning process would extinguish the lantern.

    Rush is effective. Don’t try to sterilize or Pattericize pasteurize him.

    Here’s what happens to a conservative vehicle what’s been washed and nicely polished, after it emerges from the wash..

    New Chairman Boos G.O.P. When He’s Not Cheerleading
    By JODI KANTOR

    It doesnt’ really matter that we clean up our side of discourse; the minute we hit the open air the lefty monkeys will fling poo. They’ve done it countless times. Here, Michael Steele; before, that well-washed and liberally polished John McCain.

    We cannot win with polished, nuanced discourses. It’s entirely possible we can’t win with Rush’s style either, but at least we come across as seemingly putting up a fight.

  420. And it’s only a question of tactics in the sense that the need for clarity is heightened when the audience is hostile — and in that sense only, a change of tactics is required.

    Here’s the nub of the thing. The hostile portion of the potential audience is going to remain hostile no matter what he says. Rush could say “I love Obama!” and it would be twisted into “I want to fuck Obama in the ass.” It’s just the way it is. This is who they are and this is what they do. It would be the height of naivete to hope for anything different.

    That’s the hostile portion. Then there’s the squishy middle that we can presume will be more open-minded and perhaps without a preformed opinion. A significant portion of that set is going to look at TEH OUTRAGE being ginned up by the hostile group and think “Talk show host? Eh. Whatever.” Another portion will be curious as to what all the hubub is about and they’ll look into it, or pay attention to the explanations of the various sides. That’s good for anti-Obama folks as long as the people who are speaking for that side don’t fall into the trap of letting the left decide what is and isn’t appropriate discourse. IOW, as along as they don’t start apologizing and distancing themselves not from the meaning of what he said, but from the willful misinterpretation of what he said. That’s where the Bobby Jindal tack or the “That’s a dirty lie and you’re a dirty liar” defense is appropriate. Politicians probably ought to use the former. Virtually everyone else, especially the squishy middle, will be better served by the latter. It doesn’t take but a brief look at Limbaugh’s oft repeated explanation (which was part of the initial utterance) to get his meaning.

    Going into a known attack with a better defense is better.

    The left didn’t win all of DC with defense. They attacked everything and everyone and won selling “change” from all of the horrors they described, all of which they blamed on the right. The only substantive defensive strategy was having Baracky’s media cover their asses. They won by throwing punches, not dodging them.

    Now, their punches primarily consist of the moniker “Leader Limbaugh” It is to laugh. And it’s obvious as hell that they’re doing nothing more than shadow boxing. More, please.

  421. Reagan was mentioned way up there as an example of properly framed rhetoric. That wasn’t the case. “Evil Empire” and “Tear down this wall” were “needlessly provocative.” As was “the bombing begins in 5 minutes”, though that’s a whole ‘nother story.

    Reagan was a rube who was going to get us all killed and the left roundly deplored him contemporaneously.

  422. We cannot win with polished, nuanced discourses John McCain.

  423. The Left has a completely different world view than conservatives. Different to the bone. They will attempt to frame every argument/dispute to fit their world view. They twist all views and statements to fit their own sense of reality.

    That reality is encapsulated in the phrase “the personal is political”. Any disagreement on political policy is a personal attack. That is how they view it, it is their reality.

    They will themselves launch, what we call, personal attacks. These are seen on their side as political, policy, arguments. They view them as substantive and rational. We view them as ad hominem, and vicious smears.

    This is just for the run of the mill Left. With their leaders this escalates to an even higher level. A statement like “I hope Obama fails” is to their mind synonymous to “I hope the nation fails”. Obama in their minds is the nation. His thoughts are the nations thoughts.His ideals are the nations ideals. His very being is welded to the entirety of what the see as America. He is America. That is what they voted him to be.

    To fight against this political view requires pushing back against this world view. You cannot change the view of those in thrall to this world view. What can be done is to expose that it exists to those outside of that system of thought.

    That is what the Limbaugh’s statement did. It cut at the fault line between that reality and the one we on the right see. Causing the Left to go ballistic is helpful. It allows the madness, the twisted sense of the world, beneath their mask to be seen. That is half the battle, getting the enemy to show everyone who they are and what precisely they wish to do.

    An analogy can be made to Iraq. The surge could only be successful once the ground had been prepared. That prep included allowing the terrorists the time and carnage to show all Iraqi’s who they were and what exactly they wanted.

    Only then could there be a mission to show that there was another way to go and that support was there to help them to achieve that goal. Until the terrorists completely unmasked they could still be seen as a “good” option.

    Help the Left to unmask. The visage underneath will cause there defeat to be a much easier task.

  424. Comment by Pablo on 3/8 @ 7:55 am #

    We cannot win with polished, nuanced discourses John McCain.

    Ahhh, he is not running in 2012. He will be like the old woman in Titanic by that point.

  425. Patterico’s position on this concedes so much ground to the left that it is untenable.
    Obama won. He has a majority in Congress.
    All this during an economic downturn.
    In times like these big government can successfully make the short term pain ease by dispensing economic heroin.
    The short term pain is eased but the system becomes and remains addictive.
    Success! Policies! Hope! Change!

    Opposing Success! Policies! etc. is made difficult by several things:

    A. Obama is popular
    B. Majority in Congress
    C.Opposition delays the instant gratification Success! Policies! offers
    D. Media portrayal of sympathetic “victims” of opposition (if only the heroin had been delivered to my door faster I would have never had this agony)
    E. Keeping the black man down (opposing any idea that comes from a black man gets this response… nevermind that it is the idea that is opposed not the blackness)

    I think we as a country need to endure more short term pain to get this ship set right.
    Obviously a big portion of the right disagrees with me.
    Some people on the right seem to think that since this is a tough sell and nearly impossible to articulate we should capitulate and support Success! Policies! because in the short term the middle ground hillbilly heroin using voter will feel better and won’t be able to blame us for his or her individual pain. Additionally we *must* appeal to minority voters and cannot be seen as keeping the black man down, so we have to prove we are not racist, prove we are patriots above all and support Obama’s Success! Policies! regardless of what they really are.
    In my opinion these people are foolishly playing the political equivalent of the NFL’s vaunted prevent defense even though they are behind in the score.

    Outlaws do not saw off their own nuts…

    It is possible i do not understand the strategy… maybe the strategy is to let Obama and Pelosi get over extended but it looks a lot more like “cut your balls off and maybe they won’t hurt you”

  426. Comment by Joe on 3/8 @ 8:36 am #

    Comment by Pablo on 3/8 @ 7:55 am #

    We cannot win with polished, nuanced discourses John McCain.

    Ahhh, he is not running in 2012.

    No, but if the GOP puts up Arlen Spectre, Olympia Snowe, or a different like-minded “conservative”, what’s the difference?

  427. Sorry, it’s Arlen “Specter”. Been reading Ian Fleming lately, had Blofeld on the brain.

  428. I found Jeff G’s comment at 48 to be clear and helpful, although I have not fully digested subsequent elaborations and amplifications by Jeff G and Patterico (His fingers hurt? My eyes hurt).

    Let me clip this from 48:

    “Given that the only reason we are concerned about Rush’s tone is that we fear we’ll have to explain ourselves to unnuanced Americans once the press is able to formulate his statement in a way that suits them, it is my argument that it is best to stop the latter than to worry ourselves over the former.

    The former is a tactic. The latter is is the strategy. And it is the strategy that needs to be defeated.

    In short, we are happy to have a discussion about what he MEANT, if that’s something that needs discussing (and of course, further, we are under no obligation to do so: Steele can just tell people to ask Rush about what Rush said, because he’s quite capable of explaining it); but we will no longer — and SHOULD NO LONGER — dignify questions that begin by taking us out of context.

    And rather than worry that because unnuanced Americans will buy into such dishonest formulations, we should alter our formulations (which the Bennett and Snow examples prove is a losing strategy), it is time instead to insist that the dishonest formulations be treated as such, and called out as such, so that it becomes unproductive for the media to continue the practice.

    To allow the first, as a pragmatic strategy for short-term gains, only delays the inevitable.

    As a strategic goal, reclaiming the media and the language is admirable. But if that is Step One, we are going to be waiting a long time before we can take Step Two. Is it OK for those of us hoping to see Republicans (or even better, conservatives) elected in 2010 and 2012 to call for a bit of media savvy on the part of those leaders even as the Outlaws work on their longer term goals? That said, I agree with Jeff that one indication of that media savvy would include people like Steele responding with “Do I look like Rush Limbaugh? I am not interested in responding to out-of-context quotes, but here is what *I* hope for Obama and America…”.

    Bonus thought – the out-of-context game is hardly limited to the media – look at Obama’s use of McCain’s “hundred years in Iraq”. For happier memories, think back to “I was for the bill before I was against it”, or “I invented the internet”.

  429. I think Jeff addresses media savvy and political tact a bit further down the thread Tom, and at a guess, I’d think he will agree with you that we’ll need boatloads of both in the coming couple of years.

    The tussle here though, is on the one hand, while Limbaugh did intentionally stir the pot with “want him to fail” was he simultaneously so ambiguous in the broad outlines of his meaning that the media is even a little bit justified in taking him at the opposite of his intent, “I want the country to suffer as Obama fails”, and if not, what do we say about it, that Limbaugh is at fault for not being clearer, or that we will not stand by as his intent is wrenched to its polar opposite? I still think that attacking Ed Henry and Robert Gibbs for playing that game of lies is a better purpose than deigning to correct Limbaugh’s communication skills.

  430. I should also have said that I agree with you Tom, that the strategy is in fact a long haul game, though perhaps not quite as long haul as the long march through the institutions, it’s still going to be a long road and we may as well come to terms with that right up front.

  431. Maguire;

    “But if that is Step One, we are going to be waiting a long time before we can take Step Two.”

    Step 2 would be reanimating reaganomics from it’s ‘walking dead’ status and giving it another ‘college try’. Good luck with that.
    You have more than ‘Obama’s use of McCain’s ‘Hundred Year War’.

    Attempting to camo the ABC’s of avarice by conflating it’s demise with the misuse of language and sound bytes is about all you have in way of response to 30 years of ‘trickle-down’
    and the attendant consequences of ‘free markets’. The electorate may not be paying attention full-time, but they get the general picture.

    If your team gets another turn at bat,It won’t be so easy for them to accept your explanation that the piss falling on them is the pure rain of ‘supply side’ economics.

    ‘Lafayette, we are here’

  432. Is it OK for those of us hoping to see Republicans (or even better, conservatives) elected in 2010 and 2012 to call for a bit of media savvy on the part of those leaders even as the Outlaws work on their longer term goals?

    I’ll respond with another question: Elected in 2010 and 2012 to do what?

    The ceding of ground in debate leads to a ceding of ground in principle, and hence to … well, to 2006 and 2008.

    Media savvy doesn’t address those failings. Courage of one’s convictions, demonstrated in pushing back against the dishonesty of the other side, does.

  433. Awesome thread. John 8:43-44. ‘Nuff said.

  434. The thing is now that I’m in the office and thinking about how to go about marketing stuff more better… when I think of Limbaugh comma Rush what I think is… stale brand. Should we go for a refresh or play up the retro feel? For people what aren’t ditto ditto ditto and actually don’t even know what ditto means, of which there are many many, Rush I think feels very old school and probably has stronger associations with Reagan or Clinton I would guess than with today or now. And I think that’s more important in terms of what Baracky and his NPR MSNBC Newsweek propaganda trollops are wanting to accomplish. It’s less about a hateful or malicious or angry Republican Party that they’re on about and more a Republican Party mired in the past that’s the frame they’re creating I think. The twisty interpretations what make Mr. Limbaugh out to be all angry and hateful are the newshooks is all. But the for real dirty socialist message is that the Republican Party is a lot not the future. At least that’s how it looks this morning.

  435. Going into a known attack with a better defense is better.

    Not if the defense is more padding. It hurts less, sure. But you’re still being beaten.

    Better to go in and take the offensive.

    Tom writes:

    As a strategic goal, reclaiming the media and the language is admirable. But if that is Step One, we are going to be waiting a long time before we can take Step Two. Is it OK for those of us hoping to see Republicans (or even better, conservatives) elected in 2010 and 2012 to call for a bit of media savvy on the part of those leaders even as the Outlaws work on their longer term goals?

    Calling for media savvy is one thing. Presuming to think media savvy is synonymous with the kind of verbal egg-shell walking that some believe will keep away the intentional misframings is another.

    Personally, I find it media savvy to recognize how the media — and the left in general — works with language. It is also important to recognize that their ideas for how interpretation works have been mainstreamed and are slowly becoming institutionalized (in Britain, racism is now defined as someone feeling it — the ultimate in letting the audience determine meaning and giving it civil and criminal consequences).

    But it is really not difficult in terms of what is necessary to change that culture. It may be a fierce fight but, should the truly liberal every really band together on it, it won’t be a long one, I don’t believe: all that it takes is for people to refuse the premises, so that those who rely on the fruits of the premises will, at last, have the tactic turned back on them. Why would hearing the phrase tar baby, as Tony Snow used it, cause you to jump right to accusations of racism? Where must YOUR MIND BE? Are you saying all conservatives are racist, Mr Reporter? Or are you merely being disingenuous in the hopes of picking up political points?

    It really doesn’t take long to say “that’s not what I meant.”

    Now, what I’m advocating for here is not the authorial fallacy. Utterers can lie about what they meant, naturally, so the media (and everyone else) is perfectly within their rights to make the argument that a denial is illegitimate. But to do so, one needs to make the argument — and that is a step forward. Right now, the situation is such that the media merely needs to assert and then stand back and let the fallout begin.

    They’ve learned how to witch hunt.

    And yes, the right will do it to at times, because it is an easy way to deflect. When they do it in such a way that it is apparent to me that they are buying into an idea of language that is dangerous, I call them on it. As I did during the Bennett affair and, to a lesser extent, during the 911 memorial crescent affair.

    Having fun with a gaffe is not quite the same thing.

  436. Oh. And what McGehee said, too.

  437. haps, that may be so, but think of the opportunities that it affords us to point out the hypocrisy of all this hopeychanginess, when cocksucking plutocrat whores like Dodd say that they feel for the common people even as they cut their dirty deals and pay off their dirty insider-trading whoremaster friends even whilst they point their fingers at the malefactors on Wall Street. With crisis comes opportunity, but it doesn’t all go one way.

  438. happy has a point, too. Rush has great influence in conservative circles, but he does feel, from a “leadership” standpoint, like something from a different era, when we were being asked to accept stained dresses and not radical islam.

    Sean Hannity is not the answer to that.

    I think maybe OUTLAWISM is, as a face of classical liberal / legal conservative / libertarian CHANGE. At least, I’m willing to give it a go — and take it outside the GOP mainstream to get it done.

  439. “opportunities that it affords us to point out the hypocrisy of all this hopeychanginess,”

    Maybe it’s time for another ‘Surge’.

  440. Yeah, ‘cleo. How’s that looking for a Surgin’ General going? I know he’s tired, though.

  441. I think that he ought to offer it to Deepak Chopra. That way he’ll have someone of the right melanic complexion and put science back in its rightful place.

  442. ” and more a Republican Party mired in the past that’s the frame they’re creating I think. The twisty interpretations what make Mr. Limbaugh out to be all angry and hateful are the newshooks is all. But the for real dirty socialist message is that the Republican Party is a lot not the future. At least that’s how it looks this morning.”

    That is exactly it, not just a good point.

  443. But you’ve got to say, they’re doing a great job of downsizing Wall Street. Lots of lobbyists will be looking for new work, too. The ones who don’t find jobs in the administration will be kind of SOL, but there you go.

  444. I hope the charcoal briquette lobby fails.

  445. The Frontier Party which aligns itself closely with The Outlaws looks at things through the prism of a lifeboat:

    In a lifeboat, when a guy tells the only guy who knows how to fish that he “plans to give all the fish to people who don’t know how to fish.” The fisher guy says, “I hope you fail.” And if the fish-taker is black, he adds “Holmes” at the end. In either case, the fisherman is resented, demonized and then thrown over. And in the end, the fish-takers starve to death. Not before one of them says, “You believe how racist that fish guy was?”

  446. I’m not a leftist, Will. I don’t do lockstep.

    I know you’re not a leftist and I know you don’t do lockstep, which is, you know, precisely why I never said or suggested either. Argue with your ideological allies if you must, but please do it without the puerility, as it’s beneath those arguing (you, Patterico, etc.) and the argument (classical liberalism, intentionalism, etc.). Frankly, I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

  447. I refuse to accept my movement being tarred with a formulation that a reasonable listener might interpret as saying he wants Americans to lose jobs

    That right there is Patternico’s problem.

    No REASONABLE person can interpret Rush’s statement that way without disregarding everything else he said about it and/or taking it out of context, Pats false poll notwithstanding (saying Rush hopes Americans lose jobs is like saying a prosecutor hopes the defendant is found guilty even though innocent to maintain the reputation of the office. Rush doesn’t believe Obama succeeding = creating jobs, quite the opposite).

    “I hope Obama fails” was an answer to a direct question, at a particular point in time, from a person with 20 years on the radio saying every day he wants liberals to fail, because liberals succeeding is bad for Americans.

    As Rush has pointed out, before this controversy and after, if Republicans want Obama to succeed, then quit sending me fund raising requests, I may as well just send my money to Obama.

  448. Allah and Patterico have made sure that their view gets a large audience. I appreciate all who — without provocation — went over and helped make the opposing case.

    This ain’t about me, it’s about principles and getting the message out. Frankly, I was surprised by some of the defeatism that was eventually teased out of Patterico’s argument’s few supporters.

  449. By the way, I would have commented over there but I can’t seem to login for some reason.

  450. I think that’s probably just as well, Jeff.

  451. Why, Dan?

    Someone might wish to mention in the comments that I can’t login. I’d like to.

  452. Okay, I commented asking them to send you your login info.

  453. Pingback: Last post on Rush, Steele, Frum, Obama, etc.

  454. happy has a point, too. Rush has great influence in conservative circles, but he does feel, from a “leadership” standpoint, like something from a different era, when we were being asked to accept stained dresses and not radical islam.

    I can’t help thinking — no, believing — that Rush would gladly stand down for a younger, fresher voice — hell, for ANY voice — as a political leader, but who the hell do we have? Right now, nothing and nobody.

    Don’t equate “stained dresses” with not being attentive to radical Islam. One issue at a time — you’ve got to take care about that choosing of the hill you need to stand on at any given moment, if you’re a radio host sitting in the crosshairs of hate for every damned utterance you make.

  455. I’m not equating the two in terms of importance, JBean, just as an indicator of period.

    I don’t listen to much talk radio, but Limbaugh is entitled to have his say, and the whole of the mainstream press (and now even the White House) shouldn’t be allowed to rip him out of context and attempt to demonize him before the entire nation — particularly when his meaning (pace the latest maneuverings to save face in this debate) were completely clear in their context, and especially so since they’ve been repeatedly clarified.

    I’ve heard some big rightwing sites argue today that defenders of Limbaugh’s are “cultists,” “deniers,” and “fundamentally unserious” — that winning is all that matters, and that Limbaugh isn’t helping.

    Were that the case, I don’t think you’d see the media backpedal you are beginning to see on this, nor do I think something so fundamental as who gets to control and frame a debate, how they claim the power, and what we can do to stop it, is unserious.

    In fact, I think it is an absolutely vital component to regaining our footing and refinding our principles.

  456. The line between news and entertainment has officially been blurred beyond all recognition. Its a soft tyranny. How badly accuracy will suffer remains to be seen.

  457. Pablo suggested I post this again:

    Jeff Goldstein’s threat of violence:

    I READILY ADMIT TO THREATENING TO BEAT CERTAIN PEOPLE’S ASSES. And you know what? I’d still do it to most of them if we ever met up. So?

    Jeff Goldstein’s threat of violence:

    Scott Jacobs is one of those guys I mentioned that if I ever met him in person, I’d leave him in a heap, mewling like a baby pussy.

    Jeff Goldstein’s threat of violence:

    Hey, listen: Doc Weasel is a cover band. The guy who runs their site, Kenny, is a 140lb unpaid roadie and all around lackey living at home with mom, posting amateur porn and tugging at his own little doc weasel. If I ever run into him, I’ll break him like a toothpick.

    Jeff Goldstein’s threat of violence:

    Note that I said if I ever ran across some of these people, I’d have no problem — and feel no guilt — about snapping their ACL.

    Jeff Goldstein’s threat of violence:

    As I said earlier, why the fuck should I be embarrassed about telling people who’ve said some vile things to me that I’d be happy to meet up with them in person, where I’d give them the opportunity to say those same vile things directly to my face. Just before I broke their fucking ankles?

    Jeff Goldstein’s threat of violence:

    I’ve probably gotten into it with about a half dozen people over the years, some of whom if I ran into them in the street I would beat their ass without hesitation.

    From: Jeff Goldstein: Arguing “On Point” — With Threats of Violence.

    Thanks to Pablo for the suggestion. It’s a good one. Sorta makes it clear who wrote this post.

  458. Reply to Patterico re: “violence” charges here.