July 31, 2011

In a postmodernist world, truth is contingent

…Which is to say, the very same linguistic assumptions adopted by the left (and those on the right who’ve been so indoctrinated) to ensure a shift in the locus of meaning from originary intent to receptive perception, allows for tactics meant to shape receptive perception, thereby creating a contingent, consensus-based “truth.”

In other words, lying. Which, to postmodernists, isn’t lying, should it wind up producing “truth.”

Hence, we’re treated to spectacles like this:

In an interview today on “FOX News Sunday,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin falsely claimed that Democrats have not passed a budget in 823 days because they have been unable to muster 60 votes for passage.

Durbin’s claim is incorrect for three reasons. First, budget law states that budget resolutions are privileged, meaning they cannot be filibustered, only require a simple majority vote for passage, and can be brought up by the majority party (which controls the Senate floor schedule) at any time. Second, for a large portion of last year, Democrats controlled 60 seats in the Senate, and still chose not to pass a budget plan for the nation. Finally, Senate Democrats have not even written or introduced a budget plan this year, much less passed one out of the Senate.

Now, surely, the Senate Majority Whip knows Senate rules and applicable law. Which means it is far less likely that he is mistaken than it is that he is out and out lying, hoping that his lies pass muster with the casual viewer, and that in the calculus of leftist rhetoric, that he is able to fool more people than will either catch him lying or will ever bother fact-checking what it is he’s just said.

We’ve seen increasing instances of this — Obama’s been making up polling data, job numbers, etc., without ever giving sources (or even asked his sources) — and it isn’t just coming from the left: many on “our” side have been happy to push the lie about an imminent default long after they’ve been clearly, thoroughly, and completely disabused of the notion, and they’ve done so to pressure the “extremists” to relent so that themselves can save face and surrender to the Democrats with a modicum of dignity (and while claiming victory).

And why? So that they can avoid the blame they know the media will create and assign to them when the MSM/Dem partnership begins using the repetition of lies to forge a consensus-driven, perceptual truth.

I’ve said this many times before, but the “right” will always lose the war if we accept the rules of the left. And sorry to say, that’s what they always do.

Losing more slowly. It’s what they do. And until they change the epistemological assumptions that make such a trajectory inevitable, they won’t be able to help themselves — even assuming they wanted to. Which, let’s face it: many of them simply don’t.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 7:13pm
66 comments | Trackback

Comments (66)

  1. Welcome home.

  2. I saw Durbin say this real-time this morning. I was surprised that Kyl didn’t call him on the lie; or that Brett Baeir didn’t seem to know enough to do so either.

    And if challenged, Durbin use the Billy Jeff maneuver and simply reply, “I misspoke”.

  3. I’m amused at those on the right arguing that the BBA included in the supposed bill is weak sauce on the republican’s side of the ledger cause ‘it will take like forever to get it done’ and ‘it’s like hard and all.’

    Amused as these same republican side folks are probably all for Drill Baby Drill, which if it had been done in Clinton’s administration we’d be swimming in oil. So they bought the libs lies about time frames and repackaged them for consumption when it suited them never realizing what they have done. Repackaging lib straw men and using them as weapons is not smart politics.

  4. I thought we hear Kyle at 0:38 say “[unintelligible] 51″?

  5. I’ll have to listen more closely after everyone else goes to bed. I didn’t catch that this morning sdferr.

  6. “but you only need 51″ — ? I can’t make it out, but he’s clearly interrupting to make that point.

  7. It’s good to have you back, Jeff.

    Maybe you can save grandma from certain loss of her Social Security check, now.

  8. yup truth is a lot contingent

    Obama underscored that point. He said that, if enacted, the agreement would mean “the lowest level of domestic spending since Dwight Eisenhower was president” more than a half century ago.

    could bumble be more full of shit

    no

  9. Emperor LameDuckO said:

    The first part of this agreement will cut about $1 trillion in spending over the next 10 years — cuts that both parties had agreed to early on in this process. The result would be the lowest level of annual domestic spending since Dwight Eisenhower was President — but at a level that still allows us to make job-creating investments in things like education and research. We also made sure that these cuts wouldn’t happen so abruptly that they’d be a drag on a fragile economy.

    Howzat for bullshittin’, not bad, eh? Aren’tcha just feeling the 1950′s flowing across the land like milk and honey? Umm, unn, Milk and Honey. Wait’l it ferments a couple of days in the hot sun, it’ll stink to high heaven.

  10. ha!

  11. And another stinker:

    Now, is this the deal I would have preferred? No. I believe that we could have made the tough choices required — on entitlement reform and tax reform — right now, rather than through a special congressional committee process.

  12. Really? We’re overspending by a trillion and a half a year, and Obama says if we cut $1T over the next 10 years, we’ll be spending at near record low levels?

    What kind of drugs is he on, because I want some.

  13. Krauthammer says the Tea Party wins big, should wind down and ‘go home’ for a year.

    Huh. I thought there was an extended quiet period, where the Tea Party wasn’t all that visible. Now, in what seems like a short period of time, a ‘victory’? And go home?

    Not so much I don’t think.

  14. In a postmodernist world, truth is contingent

    …but bullshit is ubiquitous.

  15. OT: but for a demonstration of a conservative who seems constitutionally incapable of accepting an interviewer’s poor premisses without challenging them, watch Thad McCotter’s roughly half-hour interview on C-Span. McCotter, nicely, to my way of thinking, won’t even let the little stuff pass by.

  16. The really crazy part about all of this is if you look at OMB’s projections over the next few years, based on this years’ budget, things don’t look so awful.

    It’s because the OMB projections are full of horseshit. They’re projecting another half-billion in tax revenues next year, over this year’s projections. Where will that come from? It’s not built into the tax code, that’s for sure.

    It’s crap. We’re in roughly equal amounts of trouble in each of the next few years; it even gets worse if the economy goes even more in the dumper. Our supergenius compatriots think the way out of this quandary is more spending, at a time when we’re pretty much tapped. It’s the usual pile of shit: government spending can save us all. The rationale I see get tossed around is we’re not at an all-time high debt/GDP ratio yet; why worry? Last time we were at an all-time high debt/GDP ratio, though, we had just finished fighting an extremely expensive war in Europe; what’s our excuse now?

    Our excuse is: Congress has been on a spending binge. I don’t see the parallel.

  17. They’re projecting another half-billiontrillion in tax revenues next year

    Fixed!

  18. Krauthammer can suck a dick.

    Nothing in Washington has changed. Except that now the crooks and insider traders know they have to pretend to care what the Tea Party thinks.

    Each month we’re spending $120 billion in borrowed money. Add that up and we’re spending more borrowed money in a year than these “cuts” to baseline spending increases will shave off from the $8-9 in new debt over a decade. And we all know most of the cuts won’t happen — except when Schumer gets on a roll about paying for the military industrial complex while little autistic orphans are choking on the puppies they’re forced to eat because the mean GOP wants to cut some bullshit portion of some bullshit agency that is a structural support beam of the Dem control of this government, no matter which party is putatively in charge.

    We got told to sit down, shut up, and go away, because the elites were going to figure a way to keep the status quo. And if that means a little credit downgrade, so what? They’re all taken care of. What happens to you? Meh. If you don’t like it, get yourself elected and join the fun!

  19. I watched BHO’s deal announcement video on CSPAN; seems to me he was getting itching to announce a breakthrough in his ‘balanced approach’ demands (@1:00); but instead, passed that off to this as-yet-unnamed but ‘so important’ ‘bipartisan committee’ (@1:25). BHO promises a full-court press over the next few months, to get this ‘balanced approach’ he wants.

    Something about this bipartisan committee smells of rotting fish heads, or worse.

    And Krauthammer wants us to ‘go home’? Maybe he should ‘go home’. We’d likely get more done without his ‘help’.

  20. “Krauthammer says the Tea Party wins big, should wind down and ‘go home’ for a year.”

    If I said what I’m thinking, I’d need a quadruple denouncement with double froth.

  21. I took Dr. K to mean to call it a day as far as this deal goes, which, this deal gives them plenty to do as far as working to make the BBA vote as fraught with import as possible and wargaming the whole Super Duper Fuck Yeah Committee and there’s still lots to talk about as far as the spendings go and the GDP sucks ass and Friday we get employment numbers and state and local governments are still in quite a spendy spendy pickle, lots of them

    but not sure exactly what’s on deck next really

    but anyway odds are this deal is done and done by tomorrow night cause of making these sorts of deals and making them stick is why BoehnerMcConnell were returned to leadership

    but if the deal falls through well won’t that be exciting

  22. Now its stalemate, its gridlock. And I’ve never seen anything where there has been so little leadership and where people are angry, disgusted and, I think, really rebellious out there. People are wanting change and they don’t know how to get it.

    W And a new dynamic, Andrea, in Washington – at least in the time you and I have been watching things. Some members have come to town and they don’t care if they get re-elected. That is a whole new dynamic. They are here for a single issue and are willing to go down in flames at the polls if they achieve it or don’t.

    link

  23. but not sure exactly what’s on deck next really

    Strategically and tactically, to get Tea Party members on this flaming blue-ribbon committee. If that’s not possible, then to apply pressure to members of this blue-ribbon committee until they are shitting blue-ribbon cheeses.

  24. Is this blue ribbon committee comprised from both houses?

    Cantor, Rubio, Paul (the sane one), Demint, Ryan, McCotter sounds like a good balance of old and new…

  25. Jeff, if you need a mental break try Captain America with your son. It is surprisingly un-nuanced.

  26. yes both houses … it is very very super, you see

  27. The Republicans have been using the same strategy for decades. Run up huge deficits while telling the people that the deficit doesn’t matter because of some larger threat, i.e. Soviet Union or Iraq, and then stick the next guy with the bill. It worked like gangbusters up till now. Obama’s grand bargain would have cut 4 trillion, but this was not enough so we’re left with an empty promise to cut 1 trillion? How is this a victory? Republicans do not care about real deficit reduction. They do care about protecting the defense budget and keeping taxes low. Those are their two main goals. They figure that Obama is going to be re-elected anyway, so he’ll just get stuck with the bill again.

  28. We’ve talked about a few of the problems with the theoretical legislation they’ve been floating. We should try for bonus points and try to guess a few of the things we’ll find out after it’s passed.

    I predict the areas that are off the table for future cuts,”Social Security, Medicaid, veterans, and civil & military pay, would be exempt”, will have some oddly specific little carve-outs that just happen to correspond to the political interests of some of the main negotiators.

  29. Silly sterling, the Republicans who were hammered for spending in ’06 averaged annual deficits smaller than Obama’s $120B a month. See the difference putz?

  30. our cowardly ghetto trash community organizing fuckstick never proposed cutting any money at all during his own term

    he’s a spendy spendy Soros-fellating whore is why

  31. You could be using this time to draw a sexy cartoon girl, elfie.

    Feel the temptation.

  32. Is elfie for real?

    Don’t you have a manhole somewhere you need to service?

  33. speaking of leaving shit to your successors, I think it’s pretty clear that bumblefuck decided to give up on raising taxes cause for 2012 it’s way more valuable as a campaign speech than as a for reals job-killing policy, especially with our ass-raped economy struggling already with the consequences of his policies

  34. Here’s a nice chart for visualizing the rise and fall of U.S. debt to GDP, 1981-2012. Note the ‘Clinton Years’ leading up to the ‘Bush Years’ were actually not Clinton’s at all; nor were many of ‘Bush’s Years’, his.

  35. on the right arguing that the BBA included in the supposed bill is weak sauce on the republican’s side of the ledger cause ‘it will take like forever to get it done’ and ‘it’s like hard and all.’

    Maybe they think so and maybe those on the left will agree and it will pass because it is good optics and it will be a sop to the “Radical Republicans” of the Tea-Party. That’s ok let them think of it as the new ERA. I’d say it is the new 13th or 15th which went from passing the Congress to ratification in less than a year.

  36. re #22:

    There has always been anger and animus in among leaders and among the followers – the rank and file, the caucus. But these new members really are willing to tear the place down. And they not only don’t care whether or not are re-elected – they don’t want pork (laughs). There are no inducements to get them to follow the speaker or the other leaders. So they don’t want the traditional methods of buying loyalty here and that was a reform that now has changed the dynamic.

    Oh, no! The Americans are here!

  37. Concern trolling requires that you do a setup to where somebody, somewhere, believes that you could possibly, plausibly, be concerned. Otherwise you just look foolish.

  38. sterling.

  39. It would be interesting to see a chart plotting revenue brought in under GOP tax cuts against spending by Congresses, whom those Congresses were led by (party-wise), what budgets were proposed by the President, what budgets were passed by Congress, and what attempts were made at vetoing, if any.

    Sterling thinks he’s clever pointing out the GOP deficit spending (which no one here really likes) — while failing to note that, for whatever the GOP spends, to the Dems it is NEVER ENOUGH. They just don’t want it spend on the military, is all.

    Tell me, Sterling: what do you think of the Tea Party? Are you for or against a balanced budget amendment? Do you want spending actually cut?

    I ask because if you haven’t noticed, many Tea Party types are at odds with both the progressives and the GOP establishment types.

  40. Optimally, wouldn’t the six Rep. super-committee members refuse to go along with tax raises, any cuts to defense beyond the $345B or whatever it was their Defense appropriations committee colleagues said was their absolute maximum cut, insist on reforms of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, etc.? And if the six were chosen specifically with a view to a trust they would not break bonds with one another or with their conference (their whole conference), then again optimally, we’d expect the super-committee will be deadlocked (since there’s little doubt that Reid and Pelosi will be making their selections based on the same sort of fidelity to Democrat ideology)?

    Hence we can further assume that whatever across the board scheme has been cooked up to “punish” a deadlock is in fact the scheme that will be used in the event? And if that scheme necessarily cuts defense beyond the $345B metric mentioned before, then it seems to me that conscientious members ought to simply vote the whole package down right now. There’s no point in setting up a system designed to endanger the nation.

  41. In the compromise, they kept Reid’s firewall, but they defined the idea of “security” spending more broadly so that it didn’t hit the Pentagon budget quite as hard. Under the Reid plan, “security” only included the Department of Defense and Veterans’ Affairs. Republicans assumed Democrats wouldn’t actually cut veterans’ benefits, so that effectively all of the cuts would come from defense. The new “security” category, however, also includes foreign aid, Homeland Security, and additional parts of the budget, meaning the cuts won’t fall as heavily on defense. At this time, there are no estimates as to how this translates in dollar terms. A spokesman from the House Armed Services Committee says they are still “examining the details and exploring how they will impact defense.”*

  42. But:

    And just to be clear, this only applies to the first round of cuts, which will accompany the initial debt limit increase. This shouldn’t be confused with the defense cuts that could be triggered if the joint Congressional committee to find another round of cuts cannot come to an agreement.

  43. Without even seeing the details, this thing is looking like a serious non-starter from where I’m viewing it. I mean, sure McConnell and Boehner can appoint push-overs to the super-committee and avoid the deadlock, but how the hell is that in the nation’s interests? If instead they appoint stiff-backed men (and there aren’t many to choose from) who’ll stick together, insisting on unity among themselves, then either the Dems have to cave in the super-committee negotiations, which won’t happen, or those negotiations go nowhere, leading directly to unacceptable results. Nope, this won’t do.

  44. It’ll have to, sdferr. Otherwise we default, the GOP is blamed, Obama gets four more years, and you can’t go back to Mordor triumphant.

    GET YOUR ASS IN LINE!

  45. oh so the definition of defense for supercommittee is for sure not the same as the first one?

    I didn’t follow that part I thought it was more that supercommittee will get to decide for itself what comprises defense

  46. This from Free Republic:

    Obama threw a major [bleep]-fit late this afternoon
    KMJ Radio Fresno via Facebook [July 30, 2011] Ray Appleton
    Posted on Monday, August 01, 2011 12:48:54 AM by TenthAmendmentChampion
    Edited on Monday, August 01, 2011 12:53:31 AM by Sidebar Moderator. [history]

    Have it on solid authority that Obama threw a major [bleep]-fit late this afternoon, eastern time, on whatever this is he agreed to as his back was against the wall because the speaker would not back down and apparently Reid and the Veep told the Prez it was over and to get over it. Developing. I should be able to confirm with sources in a few hours or by tomorrow’s show.

  47. At that point, across-the-board spending cuts would be activated, equal to the difference between the committee’s recommendations and the $1.2 trillion in additional debt ceiling. The across-the-board cuts would be split between defense spending and non-defense programs, an unpopular formula intended to inspire legislators to approve the special committee’s recommendations instead of triggering such automatic cuts.

    In addition, the across-the-board cuts are automatically enacted if Congress fails to pass the special committee’s recommendations.

    “You want to make it hard for them just to walk away and wash their hands,” Gene Sperling, the director of Obama’s National Economic Council, told CNN earlier Sunday. “You want them to say, if nothing happens, there will be a very tough degree of pain that will take place.”*

    I’d missed that part too

    this is very complicated

  48. Fuck it, I couldn’t sleep anyhow. So we could just take EmpLamDukO up on his insistence that “[blah blah blah]” . . . what was it he said?

    “I believe that we could have made the tough choices required — on entitlement reform and tax reform — right now, rather than through a special congressional committee process.”

    Yeah, that’s the ticket! Vote the bastard down, pass a two week or four week authorization for Treasury issuance and start again.

  49. Besides, see *

  50. But one House GOP lawmaker who told Fox News he intends to vote against the plan emerged from the call saying he doubted it was 98 percent in the GOP’s favor.

    “The minority leader’s on board,” said the lawmaker who requested anonymity in order to speak freely. “Really? Nancy’s cool with only 2 percent? She’s that stupid?”

  51. Krugman gets wordy.

  52. And talks of his rationality and our lack thereof.

  53. That’s even going to hurt the long-run fiscal picture because we have a situation where more and more people are becoming permanent long-term unemployed.

    Permanent short-term unemployed would be acceptable. Rationally.

  54. This is progressive battlefield prep. They are setting up to blame the right when this deal doesn’t turn the economy around, when the ratings services downgrade the US debt to AA. They will claim that their way of higher taxes and spending would have averted all the bad stuff. It’s a lie but when have they ever not lied, boldly and baldfaced.

  55. This whole debt ceiling Kabuki has me seeing red. Our elected statists, the president and TV talking heads have debated- ad nauseum- about whether or not we’ll increase our national debt by 10 trillion over the next decade, or only seven trillion. And somehow, increasing our debt by only seven trillion is considered a cut that endangers grandma and puppies and shit? Holy shit.

    I have to believe that most of the people (except for the MBM people because they’re borderline retarded) having this conversation know that they’re full of crap. Anyone who actually believes it? Their reality consists of having leprechauns manage their finaces while their pet unicorn blows them.

  56. Terrific… we get to go back to the hollowed out Clinton DoD (budgetwise, at least – thank God our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines are top notch, for now) and O! promises to go to the mat for higher taxes in 2012.

    All this for some nibbling “cuts”?

    Bah.

  57. Sterling, it can at least be argued that defense spending is Constitutional.

    The same cannot be said for Medicare, Medicaid, DEA, ATF, EPA, Welfare, NEA, Farm Subsidies, Social Security, etc.

  58. Obama’s grand bargain would have cut 4 trillion, but this was not enough so we’re left with an empty promise to cut 1 trillion?

    I’m guessing that with the help of OMB, Obama has manufactured a completely distinct & separate unreality, similar to but with different numerical properties than the current projections.

    4 trillion dollars over the next 12 years is 300 billion a year, which accounts for less than 3 months per year of deficit spending. If OMB projections were accurate, that would be insufficient. As they’re wildly out of whack, they’re woefully, horribly insufficient.

  59. This is progressive battlefield prep. They are setting up to blame the right when this deal doesn’t turn the economy around, when the ratings services downgrade the US debt to AA. They will claim that their way of higher taxes and spending would have averted all the bad stuff. It’s a lie but when have they ever not lied, boldly and baldfaced.

    Wait, but I thought Boehner was a brave, stoic hero who stood his ground against the President, even as his very own extremist Hobbit fringe nipped at his heels.

    It couldn’t possibly be that he negotiated a deal that does nothing but weaken the military, increase debt by $8 TRILLION over a decade, give the President the money and cover he needs to get through the 2012 campaign, and leaves the GOP vulnerable to the suggestion that they and the TEA Party extremists forced us into a credit downgrade by holding America hostage, could it?

    Because that would be, like, totally unfair. And I bet would make Mr Boehner squirt a few.

  60. Pingback: They lie [JHoward]

  61. Amazing, isn’t it, that the first one to step up and blatantly lie about the whole thing just HAPPENS to be the Senior Senator from the Chicago Outfit, ain’t it?

    Dickie Durbin gives slime a bad name.

  62. Republicans do not care about real deficit reduction.

    This is more or less why the Tea Party exists in the first place: they’re Republicans who have just had it with the Republican Party. Democrats have been wondering aloud for as long as I can recall about when Republicans would rise up and ouster the politicians who were spending like drunken sailors, and when that actually happens, or begins to, they all of a sudden realize that, well, it’s best to ridicule the Tea Partiers for taking the very actions they’ve been ridiculing them for not taking.

    Consistency!

  63. This is more or less why the Tea Party exists in the first place: they’re Republicans who have just had it with the Republican Party. Democrats have been wondering aloud for as long as I can recall about when Republicans would rise up and ouster the politicians who were spending like drunken sailors, and when that actually happens, or begins to, they all of a sudden realize that, well, it’s best to ridicule the Tea Partiers for taking the very actions they’ve been ridiculing them for not taking.

    Consistency!

    This.

    Note how consistently sterlinggray refuses to distinguish between the Tea Party big tent and the GOP establishment, and the very real tension between the two.

    It’s cute that he thinks we don’t notice, though.

  64. Sterling is still playing Team R versus Team D.

    Sterling doesn’t want to understand that Team Tea Party is playing for Team America and trying to take over Team R so that Team R is playing on the same side as Team America.

    At least there’s a chance (slim though it may be) that Team R can be remade into a party that supports Team America.

    Team D is a lost cause.

  65. Team D is a lost cause.

    It will be a great day when the sane Rs and the sane Ds come together to form the “Just Leave Us Alone” bloc. I don’t know what the RNC and Sorosphere will do when that happens. Probably share drinks at their club and talk about what a good run they had.

  66. How great is this?

    This priveledged little piece of shit tries to present NO BUDGET PUT FORWARD as a procedural tangle.

    Fucking asshole.

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