Monday, August 29, 2011

Ron Paul hates women and minorities; Obama just kills and imprisons them

Sure, the guy I support blows up poor brown people on a daily basis with drone strikes and cluster bombs while backing a war on drugs responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people and the imprisonment of hundreds of thousands more, mostly poor minorities, but at least he's not a racist!

My favorite part of (trigger warning) Amanda Marcotte's characteristically angry and poorly written screed against American's favorite cranky uncle -- lulz, she calls his supporters Paulbots! -- is perhaps the line toward the beginning where she suggests only white men smoke pot and that anyone who supports or maybe just utters a non-derogatory remark about Ron Paul embraces all of his positions, the latter a particularly risky stance to take for someone who supports a guy, Barack Obama, whose administration has proposed record-high defense budgets and has deported so many immigrants you'd think Pat Buchanan and his pitchfork were in the White House.

Alas, Marcotte -- who, since she's calling someone else a racist, it should be noted once published a book that depicted indigenous peoples as brutish savages -- isn't one for sophisticated, nuanced arguments, nor is she seemingly aware of how her own crude attacks could be used against her. Her eager, slavish Democratic partisanship matched in its tediousness only by her unimaginative, "batshit"-sprinkled prose, Marcotte earlier reduced the problems with the American political system to the existence of Republicans, after all, so sophisticated political analysis isn't exactly her thing. And so in the midst of spitting venom at the mean old Ron Paul who in his old meanness forgot that hating on FEMA went out of style when Bush left office, the ever-edgy Marcotte declares of his imaginary strawmen supporters that "it's fucking disgusting to believe it's more important for dudes to have legal rights to joints than women to have legal rights to abortion," presumably addressing all three of the posters on Reddit who actually believe that.

Adopting Marcotte's line of argument, though, one could easily argue that it's fucking disgusting to believe it's more important to elect politicians who will, every two to four years, make a big show of defending a women's legal right to abortion than it is to elect one who at least won't burn little children to death with cluster bombs and won't support ramping up funding for a racist drug war that has made the United States home to the largest prison population in world history. It's especially disgusting to elevate abortion rights, by which Marcottee means the election of Democrats, over issues of war and peace when the politician you're slavishly supporting has actually done more to undermine that right with a single executive order than any Texas Republican ever has.

Now, by all means, say nasty things about Ron Paul. He's a politician! Indeed, while I've argued he's more progressive than Obama -- while adding the huge caveat that I won't be voting for him because electoral politics is a fraud -- he's nonetheless a guy who believes some pretty awful things, like using the power of the state to penalize those who cross arbitrary geopolitical borders. He's also associated with people I think can fairly be called racists and he let his name be used as the byline for some of the awful things they've written. Go ahead, call him an asshole! But -- and here's another huge caveat -- make sure that if you're doing so, you're not neglecting to mention the guy who is actually in the White House and who is actually deporting record numbers of immigrants and who is actually ordering bombs to be dropped in more than a half-dozen countries and who actually propped up the company responsible for perhaps the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. Otherwise, well, you're going to come across as an asshole too.

39 comments:

  1. well said. I love reading these. Did I miss the post about why you don't vote and the rationalization thereof?

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  2. mel_anon3:04 PM

    What's particularly intriguing to me about all the liberal squealing over Ron Paul is that--per the new theory of limited presidential power advanced by Scott Lemieux et. al. whereby Obama has no real influence on domestic politics but only on foreign policy and security--Paul wouldn't have the power as president to enact those policies that liberals find odious anyway. So I can't see why they are so agitated. (Well I can, but will pretend not to for the sake of the cameras.)

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  3. I'm pretty indifferent to what happens in 2012 and think Ron Paul's only marginally less disgusting than Obama, but it is really entertaining watching liberals panic as candidates like Paul and Bachmann get actual (temporary) momentum. Alex Pareene at Salon, who I usually like, has been getting especially hysterical. And Marcotte's desperate attempt to cast people who back an unelectable fringe candidate as the real authoritarians is just priceless.

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  4. This is a really masterful response to Marcotte, not least because it shows how bad Obama is in the areas where people would normally expect him to compare well to Paul, such as on abortion rights.

    I can't agree with folks who wouldn't vote in the unlikely event that Paul got the nom. I think the moral horrors of endless war and the drug war are so enormous in relation the other stuff and in view of how presidential authority is distributed, that it would be the first time in my life a least-worst vote is actually warranted.

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  5. Everythings Jake3:43 PM

    Agreed that the "lesser evilism" argument of Marcotte and others is disingenuous. Obama's a monster who talks pretty.

    Ultimately, it'd be nice if we could evaluate both Obama and Paul honestly (same for all other candidates).

    BlackAgendaReport.com and Paul Street (at his eponymous paulstreet.org) have been offering trenchant criticism since before the 2008 election. Adele Stan had a pretty good piece on reasons to be wary of Paul last week:

    http://www.alternet.org/teaparty/152192/5_reasons_progressives_should_treat_ron_paul_with_extreme_caution_--_%27cuddly%27_libertarian_has_some_very_dark_politics/

    Frankly they both make the idea of revolution appealing.

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  6. Wow, you're getting some mainstream notice. I saw on Twitter that Glen Greenwald is recommending his followers also follow you. And to think... I was a follower before you blew up. heh

    Still, you'll probably get some new traffic now.

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  7. "And to think... I was a follower before you blew up. heh"

    I thought the same thing today. Sorta like watching Taibbi, who I have been reading since his Exile days.

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  8. Annie4:58 PM

    That alternet piece may be as bad as Marcotte's post. Even if you assume the worst about Paul's messed up beliefs, you can't be paying attention if you'd describe him as only "marginally less disgusting" than Obama.

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  9. I'm a pretty big deal.

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  10. Great piece. It's a very hard sentiment to express.

    Can't count how many times I've run into "his thoughts on ______ are crazy."

    Every time I think "isn't killing a bunch of people overseas a little crazy too?"

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  11. Anonymous5:53 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  12. And frankly,
    this piece
    does a better job at point out Ron Paul's issues.

    Yes, Ron Paul wants to focus on the U.S.'s problems, but he'll only make it shittier. If we want a non war mongering president,let's get one that will actually take care of the poor and oppressed rather than outright apathy. I say we all write in either Barry Saunders, Russ Feingold, Joe Strummer, or any other candidate of your choice.

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  13. "Charles Davis stuntin' on the Jumbotron"

    Excellent piece. The Munch'esque terror over Paul as Obama drone murders civilians in 6(or is that 7) nations,expands the cheap labor/prison Gulag in US, tortures in new venues(Somalia), while giving elite(be they Wall St. financiers, war contractors or gov't officials)criminals impunity is a Liberal psychosis.

    People should boycott money machine marketing campaigns. Voting endorses a thoroughly corrupt process. Voting Booth Quixotes flaunt "I Made a Difference" stickers, mistaking a front for the same looting mill as a lesser evil or agent of reform.

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  14. Annie-

    I said he was less disgusting, what more do you want? He says a lot of nice things about war and civil
    liberties and drugs that help us fantasize about a world where politicians aren't all bloodthirsty perverted corporatist whores, but at the end of the day he's still just another dude trying to be the most powerful person on the planet. I reserve real praise for people who aren't actively trying to harness the power of the state to impose their views on others.

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  15. Seriously? Sorry, Ron Paul is NOT the answer by far. I blogged on this today. And I will post some more thoughts later. His views on the Constitution and civil rights are terrible. The right of privacy would vanish if he had the chance -- even though he claims to be a libertarian. Absolutely not!

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  16. "Sure, the guy I support blows up poor brown people on a daily basis with drone strikes and cluster bombs while backing a war on drugs responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people and the imprisonment of hundreds of thousands more, mostly poor minorities, but at least he's not a racist!"

    This describes several indie rock listening, Apple worshiping,vegans I know.

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  17. Darren,

    Who said Ron Paul was the answer? Not me. I'm sure his views on the Constitution and civil rights are terrible. So are Obama's. In fact, the latter's are much worse. While Paul might be bad on the Civil Rights Act, that's settled law. It's not going anywhere. Obama, on the other hand, is far and away worse on the greatest civil rights issue of our day: the war on drugs and the U.S.'s 2.3 million prisoners, the majority of which are poor minorities.

    And there's the small matter of Paul opposing the whole host of unjust wars that Barack Obama has started or expanded. However bad he may be, Paul opposes blowing up poor people abroad and he opposes putting them in cages for non-violent offenses here at home. In other words, he's far more progressive on the most pressing foreign and domestic issues facing the U.S. than Barack Obama.

    As I said in this piece, go ahead and criticize Ron Paul. There's a lot to criticize. Just make sure to note that Barack Obama is even worse.

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  18. jcapan8:59 PM

    Neither Paul nor Obama is the answer. What's the fucking question again?

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  19. A hypothetical President Ron Paul couldn't overturn Roe v. Wade. He couldn't repeal the Civil Rights Act. But what he could do as head of the executive branch is stop bombing Yemen, Pakistan and all the rest. He could defund the DEA and write executive orders forcing federal agencies to stop enforcing drug laws.

    The presidency gives Paul enough power to improve the issues he's good on — which happen to be the most pressing ones — but much less power to do damage to the things he's bad on.

    The one exception is immigration policy, where he could conceivably be at least as terrible as the last two presidents. But would I trade immigration fascism, global war, and a domestic police state for just immigration fascism? If that was the choice on offer, yes.

    I wouldn't (and can't, anyway) campaign or vote for Ron Paul, but for Christ's sake, I at least wouldn't hold up racism and abortion as excuses to support someone even worse on everything.

    One would expect progressives who actually care about any of this stuff to understand.

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  20. "One would expect progressives who actually care about any of this stuff to understand."

    They're pimps for War Inc and they know it. Paul has to be destroyed before people begin to imagine an end to endless war. They wouldn't be deconstructing him obsessively if he were a warmonger like the other GOP clowns.

    I don't think anyone believes he's electable but his principled opposition to war is disruptive.

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  21. jcapan10:04 PM

    Just read that he won't run as an independent. I'd say if he really wants to be disruptive...

    I think all the faux-liberal Paul bashinig is necessary to ease their own consciences about their utter inaction during the last 2.5 years. They'll regain their principles the moment Obama is replaced by a republican, unless, of course, it's Paul.

    For the record, I'm with Megatron--I'd vote for Paul over Obama for exactly those reasons and I'm typically loathe to enter lesser-evil.

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  22. jcapan10:41 PM

    loathe to entertain

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  23. First -- I do not need to say Obama is worse to criticize Paul. Paul is receiving a lot of hype on the web, but most people either do not discuss his ideas or they only focus on two things: war and drugs. I acknowledge this is great stuff, but his position on everything else is rotten.

    I also noticed various ways in which comments on here stereotype critics of Paul. WE are either Obama worshipers or mistaken about what an Executive can do. These comments are wrong on both grounds.

    Anyone who actually took the time to read my blog knows that I am not an Obama worshiper. Also, while the President cannot reverse the Supreme Court and do other things that Paul wants, the President can shape policy. So, while Bush didn't reverse Roe, he encourage Congress to re-pass the Partial-Birth Ban act, which generated horrible caselaw from the SCT which eroded the right of privacy.

    Also, the President is highly involved in budgeting and spending. Given Paul's opposition to government spending and social programs and the president's role in proposing a budget -- dismissing Paul's economic policy is foolish.

    Finally, a word on "killing brown people." I think that is a scarecrow argument. Would Obama's policies be better if he were killing white people? Is any armed combat in nation's outside of Europe inherently racist? I never accused Paul of racism.

    My article says that he wants to extinguish Civil Rights protection in the US. Presidents cannot repeal statutes, but they appoint justices to the Supreme Court who gut the meaning of statutes. Presidents do not repeal statutes,but they appoint an Attorney General who conservatively enforces the law. Ed Meese comes to mind. So does Gonzales.

    So - I think ignoring Paul is unsophisticated. I think tying a critique of him and Obama is unwarranted. Paul is bad news. Period. I have criticized Obama many times - for those who care to know.

    PS: I did not edit this post. So, forgive any technical errors.

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  24. A few other points on Paul. First - he voted to authorize the use of force in Afghanistan. While he parses and tries to say it was just to get Al Qaeda, that distinction really doesn't matter. Getting Al Qaeda required military intervention in Afghanistan - according to Paul.

    Paul voted against Iraq, but Obama "claims" he would have as well. Paul believes that we should go into countries and then leave when "victory" is accomplished. International law, however, requires rebuilding after an invasion. Countries cannot destroy another nation and then vacate the premises. That's unlawful. Paul apparently doesn't care.

    Also, Paul is known for his disapproval of the "War on Drugs." The most I could find on this is a blanket declaration that he would get rid of all drug prohibitions -- and not give any treatment for additions. So, does this include pain killers? Prescription drugs? It's easy to talk about legalizing pot, but the Controlled Substances Act criminalizes a host of other substances. I would love to hear Paul go specific on this.

    On the drug issue -- states prosecute more people for drugs than the feds. Yet, Paul sees states as omnipotent. He wants to enlarge the power of states -- including on issues of civil liberty. This would contradict his opposition to the War on Drugs because many states are even worse than the feds on drugs-- and Paul knows this. He also knows that turning abortion rights over to the states will lead to prohibition. But that's fine with him. These positions are troubling.

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  25. Mr. Hutchinson,

    Your points are well taken. I think Mr. Davis has, within the body of the piece and in the comments section, taken pains to state he is not an "uncritical" admirer of Ron Paul. Obviously he, like any sane person, appreciates Paul's take on Military Interventionism and the Drug War in contradistinction to Obama's effective policies.

    Mr. Davis stresses the point about dark skinned people and women because Obama defenders are excoriating Paul for being a misogynist and racist. While the outrage at Paul is based on Campaign Lit he endorsed, and on votes he's placed, Mr. Davis took pains to note the real effects of Obama's present policies on women and minorities.

    Personally, I despise Ron Paul. He's a market animist who believes, if left alone, they can work out social inequalities magically if given time. The Market was fine with Slavery, Jim Crow, and Segregation--it took protests, years of struggle, Supreme Court Rulings, Legislation and War to end state sanction of these evils. His futile stance against the Civil Rights Act is nauseating--But pointing at Paul in shock while ignoring the criminogenic White House Obama heads is beyond hypocrisy. I believe that's the main thrust of Mr. Davis' piece. It's not a "Vote for Paul" plank(He doesn't vote). It just asks people who write about politics to show greater awareness and honor the truth.

    N.B.: I am not a spokesperson for Charles Davis.

    Your point about State's Rights in the Drug War would have more force if President Obama didn't threaten to supercede State Laws and enforce drug laws vis a vis raids on Medical Marijuana vendors.

    Also, Eric Holder may be the most dilatory and corrupt AG ever. War Criminals walk. Bankers flout established Property Law daily. He's too busy indicting Whistleblowers and allowing infiltration of and spying on Anti-War groups.


    You wrote a more insightful and thorough criticism of Rep. Paul than the person Mr. Davis chided in this post. And her one sided myopia was the point, not Ron Paul.

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  26. While our progressive friends worry the theoretical racism of Ron Paul, who as IOZ says is a sideshow distraction, their Libyan adventure (as led by Obama) is producing actual racist murders in that country, er, um, NATO bombed to prevent, ah, what was it? - ah, nevermind...

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  27. While our progressive friends worry the theoretical racism of Ron Paul, who as IOZ says is a sideshow distraction, their Libyan adventure (as led by Obama) is producing actual racist murders in that country, er, um, NATO bombed to prevent, ah, what was it? - ah, nevermind...

    Jack Crow



    More shiney.

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  28. Anatole David: I respond to your comments in bold.

    Your points are well taken. I think Mr. Davis has, within the body of the piece and in the comments section, taken pains to state he is not an "uncritical" admirer of Ron Paul.

    Great. I never said he was.

    Mr. Davis stresses the point about dark skinned people and women because Obama defenders are excoriating Paul for being a misogynist and racist.

    Those labels are not necessary to criticize Paul's positions on race and sex. Frankly, I care a lot less about the motivation for harmful policies than the specific policies. Paul's positions on race and sex are bad for women and people of color regardless of whether he is a bigot.

    But pointing at Paul in shock while ignoring the criminogenic White House Obama heads is beyond hypocrisy.

    Please read my blog: Dissenting Justice. I was criticizing Obama before it became chic to do so. Sorry, but you are not going to win a debate with me by pointing to Obama's weaknesses. I have hundreds of blog posts on the subject.Obama's weaknesses do not justify Paul's. Also -- criminogenic? Please be specific -- citing to actual criminal activity - or things that are arguably so (rather than policies you abhor).

    It just asks people who write about politics to show greater awareness and honor the truth.

    Cool. I agree with that. People who write about Paul should do the same!

    Your point about State's Rights in the Drug War would have more force if President Obama didn't threaten to supercede State Laws and enforce drug laws vis a vis raids on Medical Marijuana vendors.

    I am not sure how Paul's stance connects to Obama. Paul's position on the War on Drugs is limited because states have a greater role in criminal prosecution than the feds. It is also limited because he does not have a general critique of governmental power and criminality. His opposition to government is almost uniformly directed towards the feds; so it comes from federalism -- rather than an argument a role of "the state" in society. Pointing to Obama's policies does not alter this reality.

    Also, Eric Holder may be the most dilatory and corrupt AG ever. War Criminals walk. Bankers flout established Property Law daily.

    That statement is absolutely ridiculous and shows a great lack of an appreciation for history. The fact that a "whistleblower" was indicted, does not make the prosecutor corrupt - it takes a grand jury to indict an individual in the federal system. Apparently, the grand jury found probable cause.

    Also, in recent history, I would put Ed Meese and A. Gonzales far above Holder. Also, Bork, who as acting AG, fired the independent prosecutor at Nixon's request comes to mind. It is also difficult to forget Harry Daugherty, who was part of the corrupt Harding administration. Your statement about Holder lacks any historical perspective at all. It even fails on contemporary terms (calling an indictment a corrupt act).


    You wrote a more insightful and thorough criticism of Rep. Paul than the person Mr. Davis chided in this post.

    Thanks

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  29. Ron Paul again? Really? Why do we bother with this guy?

    So he talks some nice talk about ending the drug war when he's not hating on immigrants, gays and women. Am I supposed to applaud? He's an authoritarian capitalist, like every other lunatic running for or occupying the office of president. And capitalism, if you haven't noticed, is the reason why the United States wants/needs to invade and occupy half the planet in the first place, why the drug war and its accompanying prison industry has expanded so dramatically over the past several decades, why the constitution Ron Paul frets so much about is such a fucking joke.

    When it comes down to it, Paul is nothing more and nothing less than the Kucinich of the right: a well-meaning doofus who honestly believes in the purity and goodness of the System, who thinks that we can be rid of every malign and poisonous thing that system naturally produces while keeping the system itself. He's a clown, and like all clowns, he's meant to entertain and to distract, and to do little else.

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  30. Also, in recent history, I would put Ed Meese and A. Gonzales far above Holder. Also, Bork, who as acting AG, fired the independent prosecutor at Nixon's request comes to mind. It is also difficult to forget Harry Daugherty, who was part of the corrupt Harding administration. Your statement about Holder lacks any historical perspective at all. It even fails on contemporary terms (calling an indictment a corrupt act).

    Darren Leonard Hutchinson

    Thanks for the correction. In my zeal to make a point about Holder I exposed my own ignorance of history. I am thankful you took time to respond.

    Can't agree with you more on Paul's dilatory(word of the day) and opportunistic Federalism. Obama's aggressive immigration and drug enforcement policies are not nullified by Paul's Federalist predilections.


    I wished to stress Obama endorsed and took on the criminality of the previus administrations. His "Look Forward, Not Backward" was "criminogenic" in that it signalled to war criminals and banking fraudsters they would not be held accountable.

    Obama's extension of targeted drone strikes(extra-judicial assassinations) to more nations is, per International Law, and via treaties, US Law, criminal activity. He also signed an assassination warrant on a US Citizen, Al-Awliki, without due process.

    The Libyan fiasco: flimsy semantics used to evade going to Congress, because he deigned to make war on Libya. Koh arguing it wasn't war because troops weren't on the ground, mendacious. US Mercs and Special Ops were in Libya before bombing began.

    I realize many of his predecessors did the same or much worse. That's not the point. The blindness of many of his supporters(not you, of course) is not only galling, it also furthers partisan irrationality and ignores home truths. Obama is the President. He represents the establishment. Our nation is rife with financial fraud and committing crimes all over the globe(covert activities in 71 nations). When a blogger lazily attacks Ron Paul, not part of the establishment and with very little power, it's cheap and senseless. Nobody has endorsed him here. Nobody seriously thinks Paul has a chance. Obama has power and heads a powerful executive. It's easy to attack an unpopular Presidential candidate for his bigotry and misogyny. Much more difficult to note President Obama's activity creates misogynistic and bigoted outcomes. That's the gist of the piece Mr. Davis wrote. I think it holds.


    Pardon my writing. I envy your clarity and economy.

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  31. Anatole,

    You're not my spokesman, but you do a pretty good job.

    Darren,

    I think you greatly underestimate the federal government's role in the war on drugs. For starters, the federal government, not the states, is what classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug of no medical value; even should states want to legalize it, they are prohibited from doing so. Even states that have approved just medical marijuana programs are at risk of having state employees prosecuted for federal offenses, according to the Obama administration. States also tend to adhere pretty strictly to federal sentencing guidelines, such as the horrendous 100-1 crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity that was only just recently reduced. And then there's the matter of the billions spent by the DOJ and the DEA, the billions more spent fueling the drug war in Colombia and Mexico.

    The drug war is one issue -- a big one -- where, the merits of his other views aside, Ron Paul is far and away better than Barack Obama. The other one is the U.S. empire, where half your income tax goes.

    My problem with much of the liberal criticism of Ron Paul -- not yours -- is that he's attacked with a viciousness that most liberals would never use with respect to Barack Obama. Rather than just point out where they think he's wrong, sites like AlterNet refer to Paul's "dark side" and lectures progressives on why they should discount his views on war, while Amanda Marcotte in the post I cite above says Paul literally wants people to die all because he made the banal point that subsidizing flood insurance in coastal areas encourages people -- rich people, I might add -- to live there. These same liberals are merely "disappointed" in Obama, by contrast, if they bother to note their objections to his policies at all.
    It's not criticism of Ron Paul I object to, it's the over-the-top, he-wants-people-to-die criticism from people who have pledged their support to reelecting a man, Barack Obama, who is quite literally responsible for people dying in at least a half-dozen different countries.

    When Bush was president, U.S. foreign policy was criticized in stark moral terms by the same liberal Democrats who either ignore Obama's expansion of the war on terror or excuse it -- at the same time Eric Holder, who I'm not so sure is all that different from Ed Meese, signs off on immunity for war criminals and indefinite detention without trial for terrorism suspects. Now, instead of talking about how to end the wars and the assault on civil liberties, all too many partisan liberals talk about how awful Ron Paul is. In this context, the flood of criticism strikes me as a distraction from the awful policies of the guy they want to have a second term.

    Chris M.,

    I agree with your comparison of Paul to Kucinich. That's the point I'm trying to make, actually: he's a sideshow who will (sorry Paul supporters) not be the the GOP nominee, much less the next president of the United States. Liberals attacking him at the same time their preferred guy is escalating both the war on terror and the war on drugs is no different than diehard Bush supporters silent about their guy's crimes going after Howard Dean or Dennis Kucinich, who of course are worthy of criticism, just not from those guys.

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  32. Great post. I always tell people that Americans should be angrier over our dreadful foreign policy than over the economic crisis.

    People forget that capitalism, as a system, is prone to crisis, the latest downturn being no exception. On the other hand, our foreign policy is much more completely a product of political decisions emanating from one major source (the Executive branch) as opposed to a systemic crisis that involves a vast array of diverse public and private actors all over the world.

    I do not agree with Ron Paul’s right-libertarian economics, but he is willing to challenge the loathsome bipartisan consensus on foreign policy, and that is very commendable.

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  33. zilcho11:07 PM

    Life isn't very consistent. But when it is we should smile.

    Here marcotte fulfills the condemnation of anti abortionists, that pro choice liberals are murderers.

    Marcotte demands the right to kill fetuses and the right of her guy to kill foreigners.

    I'm almost entirely pro choice because I don't believe women have abortions just for fun, so it's a wacky moment to see a pro abortion rights woman claim unquestionable moral superiority and call the concern for the unborn a smoke screen to control women, at the same time as she espouses indiscriminate murder.

    "Don't tell me I'm 'murdering babies' you hypocritical nuts! It's just some cells in my body. However, if you really are interested, here's a map...see that half way round the world ? I AM murdering babies over there and it feels so goooood".

    Thanks a lot lady, you just undermined my belief in abortion rights. b.i.t.c...

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  34. Anonymous6:39 AM

    Zilcho, I agree 100%.

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  35. Anonymous11:49 AM

    obama's a hack and a fraud. ron paul is openly a terrible human being. go on with the masturbatory angels-on-a-pinhead debate about which is worse

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  36. Christopher10:13 PM

    Mr. Davis:"In other words, he's far more progressive on the most pressing foreign and domestic issues facing the U.S. than Barack Obama."

    See, I think that the commentors over at Pandagon disagree with you about what the most pressing foreign and domestic issues facing the US are.

    Part of the creed of lesser-evilism is that only you and the people you support are fully capable of discerning which evils are lesser.

    A lot of people over at Pandagon are saying "I keep telling my pro Ron Paul friends about how he's a jerk and a racist, but they just keep repeating that he's against the war on drugs and most of our foreign wars. You just can't reason with these guys."

    Basically, see, they know that stopping Paul from getting his way on abortion, civil rights, immigration, etc. is the most pressing issue facing the country.

    This is not arguable, and it's not that personal experiences or personality quirks have led them to focus on certain important issues while leaving other important issues alone.

    No, abortion, immigration and creeping libertarianism are so certainly, self-evidently more important then our wars on drugs and people that anybody who disagrees is at best an idiot, and at worst malicious.

    I mean, I'll eat my hat if Marcotte or any significant portion of the people who comment on Pandagon support the war on drugs, but the second you suggest that it may be more important then Abortion then suddenly it stops being a global, life destroying horror and becomes nothing more then some rich fuck wanting to smoke a joint wrapped in Roe v. Wade.

    It's fine if these things are a deal breaker for them, hell, I'd even say it's admirable. But then I'd say the same thing about opposition to the war on drugs. But I just wish there was some acknowledgement that other people could have different priorities then them without being evil or stupid.

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  38. I agree with your argument on its merits, Charles, but I wish you wouldn't do it by mocking trigger warnings. That's not cool.

    Also, if you're going to say that it's something that "should be noted" that Amanda Marcotte once used racist imagery on a book cover, it should also be noted that it's something that she immediately took steps to fix, and apologized profusely-- as opposed to trying to justify herself-- and held her own actions up to scrutiny as a learning opportunity.

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