Friday Open Thread

Another busy day. Our last open thread is full, here's another one, all topics welcome.

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    Is the left becoming to PC? (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Slado on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 03:43:09 AM EST
    The Atlantic - liberals vs liberals

    The above article references the recent Chait article that made the assertion that the rise of PC thought is stifling debate.

    I bring this up because while I love coming on this site and commenting I often feel this tactic used against me.   Certain thoughts and links to non progressive sites are dismissed out of hand because they don't fit a certain PC narrative and the fun (the debate) stops.

    Even while I enjoy commenting my favorite activity is to read your comments along with the info in the original posts.

    And I must say I see what these articles are referring to all the time between posters on this site.  If you don't hold the latest PC idea on certain issues you aren't debated you are dismissed.

    Am I crazy?  I bring it up to see if others see this pattern in our natural discourse and even at TL.

    Keep in mind we on the other side have our own issues like being unable to separate moral and political or fiscal issues making too many on the right look like kooks is just one of many so don't attsck me like I think I'm on the side of Angels.

    I am honestly curious to get feedback from progressives on this topic.

    Feedback (none / 0) (#2)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 04:26:06 AM EST
    If you cite Fox News,  it is a non starter.

    Being dismissed:  This is a cite with "Left" in its title.  Some debates have been had so many times, to raise the same tired GOP talking points is...well, pointless.

      Cite new evidence from a credible source, and you probably get a better response....

    From my perspective, I believe I understand the GOP all too well.  Appeals to Reason and Compassion that liberals tend to want to make are ineffective.  Conservatives are not moved by Reason and Compassion but by Power and Money.

    Beat the GOP and they become reasonable.


    Fox News (none / 0) (#3)
    by Slado on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 06:26:04 AM EST
    Aren't you basically proving my point by making that statement?

    I looked up the definition of liberal and Google says...

    Open to new behaviors or opinions and willing to discard traditional values.

    So then I looked up Progressive and Google says...

    Favoring or implementing social reform or new, liberal ideas.

    If you won't even consider reading a link or considering the general message are you open to opinions?  

    Just seems that too many on both sides are locked into looking at the world through tunnel vision of their own making and miss stuff because they never look around.

    It's why I love this site.  It challenges my views but can also strengthen them because in both cases I expose myself to the message straight from thee horses mouth and not through a filter of my own partisanship.

    Thanks for the feedback.  


    And conservatism is the opposite of liberalism (none / 0) (#21)
    by Dadler on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 09:28:11 AM EST
    Definition of conservative: "Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change."

    Presenting genuinely liberal people with statu-quo ideas will generally get you nowhere rhetorically.  And that would seem pretty self-evident. Conservatism, by its nature, is averse to the reality of evolution, beyond the biological debate. That is why most beneficial changes to this nation have come by way of those people who were unafraid to be unpopular or accept the status-quo, since, you know, very little positive change occurs by going in reverse.

    Not to say that I, as a genuinely liberal person, cannot admit when I am full of sh*t: the day 9/11 happened, I reflexively thought it was Saddam Hussein, too. Then I learned a few things, and I changed my mind. Before I had a child, I had much less "liberal" ideas about raising my son. But the lessons of my own neglect and abuse FORCED me to be much more cautious than other people. But conservative ideas about economic domination have made it all but IMPOSSIBLE for one parent to commit themselves to child-rearing in a manner which is probably best for the child. So conservatism's hypocrisy in that area has destroyed the very thing it claims to value.

    One lesson of history is that appealing to "stay the course, just ride it out, this is the best we can do" rarely works, because the course of human existence is forward movement, not backward or even stagnation. Life, by its very nature, is liberal.

    People, of all stripes, tend to be locked into their paradigms. But, again, expected a social philosophy committed to social change is not going to be swayed by arguments that appeal to the status-quo, because there is nothing much about the status-quo to be admired politically. Even when we had an economy that allowed one parent to work full-time and another, mom, to stay home, was riddled with prejudices and paradigms that had to be broken for society to advance in these other areas.



    Jonathan Chait kind of got hoist on his own (none / 0) (#5)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 06:59:12 AM EST
    petard in that article he wrote.

    Here's Amanda Marcotte:

    While the article purports to be a lambasting of "the culture of taking offense" and censorious attitudes, it quickly becomes clear that the only speech Chait is interested in protecting is conservative or contrarian. When it comes to people saying uncomfortable or provocative things from the left, Chait comes across as just as censorious and silencing as any of the leftist prigs he attempts to criticize.


    Commitment to free-wheeling public discourse is an admirable position, of course. But it has to go both ways. "I am white and male, a fact that is certainly worth bearing in mind," Chait writes. I will take him on his advice and suggest that's why he doesn't seem to realize it's two-faced to scold lefties for being hypersensitive while demanding that they tip-toe around his own hypersensitivities. But the rest of us should not be fooled.

    In my opinion, and speaking only for myself, it isn't the failure to subscribe to a PC narrative that gets certain links and thoughts dismissed out of hand, it's the tendency for these sources to routinely and deliberately distort and manipulate the facts - and to generally promote ideas, policies and actions that have either been proven not to work as advertised, and/or are regressive, authoritarian and punitive in nature, unhealthily bellicose and disgustingly tolerant of racist, sexist and classist ideas and policies.  A lot of it originates in outlets like Fox News, which I consider, generally, to be a kind of poisonous tree, and blogs and sites that consistently accept Fox's version of the facts, add their own ugly spin and seek to perpetuate ideas and a point of view based on them are the fruit of that tree.

    Which is not to say that the so-called liberal media (and i qualify that with "so-called," because I don't necessarily consider those "liberal" outlets to be all that liberal) doesn't put its own spin on things - they do.  And they don't always tell the whole story, either.

    I guess my starting point is that I already know what I believe - I'm pretty much past the stage where I can be persuaded to support the right-wing view of things: it just isn't who I am.  I may need the media to report on things I'm not equipped to find out on my own, but I don't need them to tell me what to think about it, and I don't need them to prove that what I believe passes muster.

    I don't happen to think this is all a matter of what's PC and what isn't; I think it's a struggle between and representative of fundamental differences in what people believe.  That's nothing new, I don't think, it's just more concentrated, and thus more noticeable, when the occasional conservative finds him- or herself trying to be heard over the voices of mostly liberals/progressives.

    And vice-versa. If you don't think I'd be shouted down for my liberal ideas if I tried to discuss them on a conservative blog, I'd have to say you might not be looking at this as objectively as you think!


    My opinion (none / 0) (#7)
    by Slado on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 07:42:32 AM EST
    Is ones opinion should never be static.

    By saying...

    I already know what I believe

    You're kind of saying you are never able to leave an opinion open just a bit to the other position.  For me then you miss out on the opportunity to learn and while not change it but understand the other point better and see positions of compromise.  

    Again my original question wasn't the difference between my views on the conservative side and yours.  It was is there the same kind of thing happening within the liberal community that you have to be so PC even liberals have this phenomena happening to them.


    When I say that I already know what (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 08:16:34 AM EST
    I believe, I'm saying that as a 61-year old whose mind has not only been open, but who seeks out information and questions everything.  I say that as someone whose thoughts and opinions have undergone some evolving and developing over time.  I expect that to continue, but I don't expect that I'm ever going to agree with conservatives on what I consider to be some pretty basis issues.

    I'm happy to listen to your opinions, and happy to try to understand how you came to have them.  But if you're going to cite Fox or the right-wing sites, those are going to get called into question - much the same way conservatives derisively reject anything liberals offer from MSNBC, Daily Kos and TPM, to name a few.  I don't find Fox to be a credible source, and if you're basing your opinions on the "facts" they're providing, I'm probably going to call BS on that.  I guess I could ask you whether, when someone points out that Fox is once again wrong on the facts, you reconsider your position.  Maybe you don't not because Fox is telling you what to think, but because you already had those opinions, and what Fox says isn't going to change them.

    Look, we are who we are.  When you participate in a liberal blog discussion, your conservative views are going to be challenged, and some are going to be rejected.

    I don't know what that has to do with PC, and I find Chait trying to make it about political correctness to be somewhat disingenuous and diversionary.


    Mr Chait is an idiot (none / 0) (#15)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 08:20:03 AM EST
    And his fear of "teh Left" in his piece demonstrates what a poor thinker he really is.  

    Case in point (none / 0) (#8)
    by Slado on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 07:48:35 AM EST
     Newsweek does a story asking if Silicon Valley has a problem with sexism.

    Then they get criticism for the cover of a story talking about exactly what the criticism is about..

    Seems like a case of too much PC.


    You may be surprised to hear, Anne, (none / 0) (#10)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 08:01:57 AM EST
    that I don't read you or your posts as "liberal" or "conservative."

    I view you and your posts as rational, enlightened, and reasoned.

    Like Chris Rock says, everyone is a mix of liberal and conservative.  Damned few people agree on everything.  The two-label system sucks.  

    A continuum with only two end points cannot represent positions in a universe containing dozens of issues.  An accurate representation would require a vector in of as many dimensions as there are issues.  Which would be completely impossible to represent on a TV screen, let alone a bumper sticker, or in a two party system.


    The left (none / 0) (#14)
    by FlJoe on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 08:18:32 AM EST
    talks a good PC game but the right are the real pros. Take immigration, when Rubio, Perry, Jeb and others showed the slightest deviation from the hard line they are castigated and forced to walk back. On AGW McCain and Graham were forced to shut up on their moderate views. Gun control, trickle down economics...on and on the tenets of conservatism must not be questioned. Conservatism can not fail, it can only be failed is the overarching mantra on the right.

    It has always seemed to me the right (none / 0) (#16)
    by ruffian on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 08:35:09 AM EST
    polices true political correctness, in the true sense of the term, a lot more than the left. Deviance from the accepted party line has true political consequences on the right. That is why I have always hated the term 'PC' for what Chait is describing - and IIRC the term was originally used to describe true political landmines on the right, and they used their jujitsu expertise to turn it back on the left.

    To Chait's point, I think that what seems like oversensitivity to people that are not in a particular group is a natural reaction to people that feel themselves being insulted or marginalized. They have a right to speak up about it. Does that make it harder for progressives to come together on the larger points of policy? Maybe a little, but I really have not seen that happen much. What we have is a voter turnout problem, and I don't think it is the PC police that hamper that.


    Rove compares Benghazi conspiracy (none / 0) (#4)
    by Yman on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 06:30:29 AM EST
    ... to birtherism and warns against it.  Said he suspects she might want Benghazi attacks like Obama "wanted" the birther attacks.

    Even conservatives have to admit the wingers make them look silly at a certain point.

    Tobe is no longer (none / 0) (#6)
    by Slado on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 07:24:09 AM EST
    Someone I liste too very seriously.

    He is more of a Limbaugh at this point then a serious news analyst.  Which is a shame because he could give good insight having been there done that but oh well.


    All these (none / 0) (#9)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 07:59:19 AM EST
    "reports" surrounding Benghazi from the likes of Fox News etc were more for the benefit of GOP "fleecing the rubes" than anything else. I mean they had some people so worked up about it they were screaming for Obama to be impeached over it.

    Speaking of 'fleecing the rubes," (none / 0) (#19)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 08:47:31 AM EST
    Wonkette ran a story about a Mother Jones story describing the way Mike Huckabee's PAC paid family members $400,000 and a Politico story about tea party PACs that benefit almost nobody but the consultants and con men who run the PACs.

    Since the tea party burst onto the political landscape in 2009, the conservative movement has been plagued by an explosion of PACs that critics say exist mostly to pad the pockets of the consultants who run them. Combining sophisticated targeting techniques with fundraising appeals that resonate deeply among grass-roots activists, they collect large piles of small checks that, taken together, add up to enough money to potentially sway a Senate race. But the PACs plow most of their cash back into payments to consulting firms for additional fundraising efforts.

    Not to say (none / 0) (#12)
    by Slado on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 08:10:58 AM EST
    He's not right about this point.

    What they should question is her strategy for Lybia in the first place and what a mess her and others created.

    NY Times

    Focusing too much on Benghazi probably helps her because it takes the focus off the original error she made by getting us involved there in the first place.


    But they can't focus on the original error (none / 0) (#17)
    by ruffian on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 08:38:28 AM EST
    because didn't a lot of the GOP support it too?

    So they have to make up an issue if they want to talk about it at all.


    Rove (none / 0) (#11)
    by Uncle Chip on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 08:08:46 AM EST
    Rove compares Benghazi conspiracy to birtherism and warns against it.

    There is as much respect for Rove on the left as there is on the right -- that is, close to none.

    We'll have to wait and see what Rover really thinks about Birtherism when/if Ted Cruz runs.


    Jeff Roorda (none / 0) (#18)
    by Uncle Chip on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 08:42:26 AM EST
    I'm finding the Loretta Lynch confirnation (none / 0) (#20)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 09:00:48 AM EST
    hearings troubling:

    On matters of policy, Ms. Lynch called capital punishment "an effective penalty" and said she disagreed with Mr. Obama's statements that marijuana was no more harmful than alcohol. She called the National Security Agency's collection of American phone records "certainly constitutional, and effective."

    And she'll be better than Holder, because...?