Ethics Quote Of The Week: Slate Writer Jamelle Bouie

hillary-clinton-winking“Barring an indictment for criminal behavior, Hillary Clinton, if she’s the Democratic nominee, will not lose the 2016 presidential election because of her emails. To think so, or to think they’ll change the race, is to say that scandal will override partisanship; that an otherwise liberal voter will walk into the ballot booth and mark the box for Jeb Bush or Gov. Scott Walker or Sen. Marco Rubio because of digital mismanagement. I liked what Clinton said about early childcare, thinks our hypothetical voter, but sending government email on a private server makes her unfit for the White House.”

—–Slate’s resident racial-distrust monger, Jamelle Bouie, writing about how Hillary Clinton’s still unfolding e-mail scandal will affect her candidacy.

What a cynical and frightening attitude to  express  about one’s own ideological kith!

Could he be right? The typical progressive/liberal/Democrat sees the blatant lies of Hillary Clinton exposed, that she deliberately risked national security, deliberately breached her own department’s and the Obama administration’s policy, falsely denied that any laws or regulations were involved, disingenuously said her conduct was no different from other officials, destroyed e-mails knowing they were about to be subpoenaed in a Congressional investigation, placed national secrets at risk, described the process of unraveling her deceptions and incompetence as “fun,” sent out one surrogate after another to obfuscate and deny the facts and the truth, and repeatedly lied about the matter herself, following a well-established pattern that already causes most of the nation to regard her as untrustworthy, and still that typical progressive/liberal/Democrat will say, “Hey, I like what she said about early child care, so what difference does it make that she’s devious, dishonest, incompetent,  possibly criminal, reckless and thinks the public is made up of dupes?”

Really? Really? REALLY???

Who are these creatures, and how did they get this way? Are all Democrats this completely unconcerned about character and ethics, or is Bouie, who obviously is, just projecting his own crippling ethics rot on others?

That does it.

I’m heading for the bridge…

 Update: A rather more rational and less depressing analysis from Ron Fournier, who, unlike Jamelle, doesn’t try to spin Clinton’s conduct as “digital mismanagement.”


86 thoughts on “Ethics Quote Of The Week: Slate Writer Jamelle Bouie

  1. Really, Jack? Given the seemingly incredible level of political and cultural ignorance (not to mention, general ignorance) of many average Americans? Given the level of intellectual immaturity and lack of critical thinking skills of the average American? Given that the average American has developed the attention span of a gnat? You are actually incredulous?!?

    I guess I’m pretty cynical now, too.

  2. Unfortunately the color of your red or blue jersey pretty much trumps all. I’ve even encountered Democrats who react to the mere MENTION of Republicans in passing with a supercilious “yuk” like you mentioned something gross stuck to a toilet seat.

  3. Well to be fair, Slate is probably the worst example of cynical, unethical rags. Like the Ancient Greek what’s his name, I spend my life searching for an ethical liberal. Alas, so far my search has been in vain. I fear that they have become extinct.

  4. I’m curious…a Republican Conservative will not, as a general rule, hold his nose and vote for a Republican candidate anyway, just to keep a liberal from winning. They simply will not vote. A liberal will, even for an Hillary Clinton. See the difference?

    • See, what bothers me about statements like this is that all liberals are lumped together. I don’t lump all Republicans/Conservatives together, so why must Democrats/Liberals be lumped together as they are more often than not on this blog?

      I didn’t especially want another term for George H. W. Bush, a Republican, but I didn’t think Clinton was a good choice. So I voted Republican, even though I didn’t want another 4 years of a Republican president.

      I will always try to vote for the best candidate, but sometimes it comes down to the lesser of two evils. And the way that politics is heading, I’ll probably do the latter more often than not.

      • But isn’t it disturbing that major liberal voices assume a generalization like this? And that it’s fine? Admirable, even?
        I wouldn’t belong to a club that has people like Jamelle as leaders, if he’s typical. Or are you typical, and he’s the outlier?

  5. I don’t know Bouie, and I never read Slate. So all I know about this one is the sentences you quoted: and I confess to bemusement that you can infer all that angst from a simple empirical prediction.

    Parsing Bouie’s paragraph, he says: “Hillary will not lose because of her emails…to think so is to say scandal will override partisanship…[and that isn’t likely.]

    That sounds like a straightforward political analysis and prediction. He’s saying most partisan voters will not be dissuaded by the email controversy. He’ll either be proven right, or wrong, in a matter of months.

    How you get from that prediction to intuiting a “cynical and frightening attitude” on the part of the author escapes me. If it’s cynical and frightening to predict one outcome that turns out be right, is it then friendly and calming to predict another outcome that turns out to be wrong? Or is it just bad predicting?

    Aren’t you confusing moral outrage with political handicapping? The degree with which you hold a position to be unethical is not necessarily correlated with the degree to which voters will cast their ballot your way.

    I get that you’re outraged by the kind of thinking Bouie is saying exists in a majority of the cases. And maybe you even know something about this Bouie person beyond what you quoted of him.

    But if that’s all you’re going to offer up as evicence about someone before you make the outrageous claim that he “obviously is, just projecting his own crippling ethics rot on others,” then your conclusion is utterly unwarranted by the quote.

    All he did was predict that those who think differently from you are likely to be in the majority. And we’ll see soon enough if he’s right, or wrong.

    If you’ve got some data other than what you trotted out to support your conclusion about his “crippling ethics rot,” let’s see it. Otherwise, what I’d like to know is – do you Agree, or do you Disagree, with his prediction that most HRC supporters will choose partisanship over scandal? Because that, as far as I can see, is the only issue he raised.

    • I was extremely clear, as was the writer. The e-mail scandal completely shows that Hillary is untrustworthy and a liar. He says that won’t matter to liberals. That’s either an indictment, a confession, or wrong. Why are you trying to spin it?

      His assessment of what “typical liberal voters” will do is based on what he would do. That describes someone who isn’t troubled by lying, incomp–well, as I already wrote–in their leaders as long as they mouth progressive platitudes.

      If that isn’t proof of his ethics rot (you can search for other Jamelle posts on EA), I don’t know what is.

      • From what part of his quote can you infer “His assessment of what “typical liberal voters” will do is based on what he would do.”
        I’m not seeing it.

        • WHAT???? What do you think it comes from? He is projecting his perspective on them, of course. He sees himself as a typical liberal. HE would vote for Hillary despite the scandal, obviously. That’s why he—absurdly—calls it “digital mismanagement.” He really thinks that’s a reasonable categorization of this, because that is his shrug, signifying rotten values.

          Note that he just assumes that she’ll still be the nominee. Ed Muskie was “disqualified” because got weepy ONCE. Rick Perry was disqualified because he lost his train of thought in a televised debate. Herman Cain was toast because of unproven sexual harassment claims. But Bouie says that Clinton’s obvious dishonesty and misconduct, far worse than all of these combined, don’t matter to “liberals.”

          So either he’s right, and all “typical liberals” are like him—corrupt and cynical—or he’s wrong, and its just him.

          Well, we know he’s more right than wrong, because Hillary is still the frontrunner! The Democratic line is that this is a phony scandal—you know, Fox. Bouie also proves his corruption by basing how badly the scandal will hurt her on whether she’s indicted! Perfect Clinton logic: if she isn’t caught, it’s fine. Again, all these are political calculations, devoid of ethics—never mind that what so much of what she she did was WRONG, and that she lied repeatedly and publicly. If this were a GOP candidate, the also corrupt, partisan Justice Department would have announced a criminal investigation against HER. There are strong arguments that what it charged Petraeus with is far less criminal than what Hillary is facing. But never mind, Hill says the right things about kids, so lets make her leader of the free world. (And Obama’s Justice Department will never indict her.)

          • Here’s a typical example of an anti-Hillary comment on Mediaite:

            Dj999 • 2 hours ago
            She’s a horrible politician. She brings all these scandals on to herself. She doesn’t need the GOP’s help. She’s a disaster waiting to happen. But the dems don’t care about her integrity. They still will vote for her knowing she’s a liar.

            See that last part? This guy meant it as an insult. Bouie thinks he’s accurate, but that its reasonable and fine. My question: are liberals really that far gone? Your reaction is not filling me with hope…

            • Jack, your strong reaction to this baffles me. You quoted a particular bit of text from this guy – which text constituted NOTHING MORE than a prediction.

              When I call you on it, you cite all kinds of items NOT IN YOUR ORIGINAL C. In fact, his views were not on display in the text you quoted.

              I’m not debating his views, or your view of his views. You’re probably perfectly right about those. Bouie may even think, as you suggest, that “it’s reasonable and fine.” But you can’t deduce that from the quotes you cited.
              All you cited was a prediction – that HRC supporters would go with politics over ethics.

              If you want to debate his values, then quote him on values – not on predictions. It’s a simple enough distinction.

              • I don’t even know what to call this line of reasoning. The prediction issues directly from the man’s own attitudes and values, Charles. What else informs the prediction? If I wrote, “To believe that we can tax our way out of the deficit, one would have to believe that it’s reasonable for an American to honestly pay all the taxes he owes, and that anyone with brains will think, ‘Hey, I’m an American, and its my duty” when they know they can cheat and spend money on things they need rather than to pay some bloated bureaucrat’s salary and obscene pension!'” You don’t think such a prediction must tell you something about my views and values?

                Note that I called it an Ethics Quote, not an Unethical Quote. If he had said outright that nobody should care about the e-mail scandal…which he comes within a whisker of doing—it would have been “Unethical Quote Of The Week.” As it was, he just implicated the ethics and values and civic responsibilities of his own group, a cynical evaluation and an unattractive one that he doesn’t seem to think is unattractive. That’s because its his group, Charles, and it’s how he thinks.

      • Joed, those words, if you read carefully, were intended to describe how “thinks our hypothetical voter.” He is describing not his own views (we don’t know his own views from the quote Jack selected), but the internal self-reinforcing views of a hypothetical HRC supporter.

        It’s perfectly clear that the mind of such a supporter is highly self-reinforcing; such a voter thinks that email issues are nothing more than “digital mismanagement,” and therefore no big deal in his or her mind.

        Are you denying that that is a plausible description of the thought process of an HRC supporter? Then say so. But don’t confuse it with what the author himself thinks, because that is not what he’s writing about, nor is it evident in the the quotes Jack selected.

        You’re evidently reacting to an un-careful reading. You don’t like the description of the mind of a liberal voter? Fine, that’s your prerogative – but that’s irrelevant to the author’s point. His point is to describe the mind of an HRC supporter. Personally, I think he’s almost certainly right: an HRC supporter is going to rationalize and justify the email scandal as being not as important as all the ‘good stuff’ that she’s going to do.

        • “Barring an indictment for criminal behavior, Hillary Clinton, if she’s the Democratic nominee, will not lose the 2016 presidential election because of her emails. To think so, or to think they’ll change the race, is to say that scandal will override partisanship; that an otherwise liberal voter will walk into the ballot booth and mark the box for Jeb Bush or Gov. Scott Walker or Sen. Marco Rubio because of digital mismanagement.”

          This is clear and unequivocal, and he is saying it is ridiculous to even think a liberal would care about the scandal, which means he doesn’t care, and doesn’t think its rational to care. There is no other way these words can be read. I cannot imagine how or why you are arguing otherwise.

          He isn’t saying Hillary zombies, he says “an otherwise liberal voter”—meaning one typical of the breed—doesn’t care about the scandal. He isn’t saying he thinks this is how some of them think, he is saying it is absurd to assume they would think any other way. It isn’t careless reading here, it is hallucinatory reading on your part.

          • The rest of his quote completes the thought, and leaves no doubt about his position. His characterization of what she did; digital mismanagement, followed by the comparison between early childhood care and sending government info on a private server, is plain as day. I think Charles is being a little dishonest about this, because I think he’s intelligent enough to read the nuance here, unless his is simply a defense lawyer’s argument of not meeting some level of proof.

        • Oh my GOD, man! Are you serious? You are being willfully obtuse here, or just so utterly biased that your objectivity is gone. I don’t even know what to say to you right now, because I’m honestly flabbergasted at your assessment.

          • Joed, try this – just WHAT is it that you think I’m saying that is so horrible?

            –Because if you think I’m trying to DEFEND the point of view that Bouie is describing, you’re wrong.
            –If you think I’m trying to argue that Bouie himself doesn’t hold that point of view, you’re wrong.
            –If you think I’m saying Bouie’s description of Hillary fans is inaccurate, your’e wrong.

            All I said was: based on the quotes given, he was DESCRIBING the mind of an HRC Dem voter. I think his description was accurate. I suspect you do too.

            So – what about my comment leaves you so apoplectic?

            • I’m not apoplectic, I’m just baffled, because I think there’s plenty there in the way he said this to infer his position. Not that that matters much, because there’s material written by him elsewhere that supports this, not to mention the fact that you agree that it’s probably his position anyway. However, you brought up the point that there’s not enough there for the inference, so I’m just following through here.

                • But “HRC” supporters aren’t the point. He’s commenting on ALL democrats.

                  Good to know you double down.

                  This way we can simply disregard your commentary as simple partisan deflecting spin.

                  Like we pretty much knew before.

                  • My comments apply equally, regardless of whether he was referring to all democrats or only to HRC supporters. You might try actually reading what I wrote in the first place; your distinction is irrelevant to the point at hand.

                    • No, no. You’re the one trying to make a distinction. Let’s be honest, please.

                      I’m the one making the accurate analysis of his comment. Your distinction can only be viewed as an attempt to cover for “all other democrats” while pretending he’s only focusing on a specific subset of democrats who are currently only HRC supporters. But he isn’t. He’s made the hypothetical that Hillary is the nominee and that now this is how the “typical” democrat will behave. That includes all the democrats. Not merely Hillary supporters while she was a pre-primary candidate.

                      Keep the spin. You’re slipping into dishonest zone if you aren’t already there.

                      I know it hurts, especially since you fall in the category of people he is characterizing, and we know this because you would choose ideology over a non-horrifyingly corrupt and dangerous candidate like hrc as per Humble’s inquiry.

                      It is useful to know your incapacity to transcend ideology though, thank you for that.

    • Goalpost moving. I’m not sure which quote you read, but he isn’t discussing “typical HRC” supporters.

      He’s discussing “typical Democrats” as he clearly identified “…if she’s the Democratic nominee…”, which means at this point, she represents all Democrats who will vote Democrat; and don’t pretend for one minute that the Bernie Sanders supporters don’t fall in that group.

      Fix this error in your analysis before you continue or we can only surmise you are on here to spin nonsense in another pathetic Leftist attempt to divert rational discussion about the unethical nature of one of your people’s darlings and the very likely unethical nature of your people’s method of supporting those darlings.

    • (Painting a huge target on my back…)
      I have to say that my reading of the original post also supports what Charles has written. Here’s a question — if I had written the same words that he (Jamelle) wrote, would you have assumed that I was stating my support for and vote for Hillary? You now know that I do not support her candidacy. I could have written the same words as Jamelle. Really. I’m not being argumentative. But I agree with Charles. Although Jamelle might actually be a mindless liberal sheep, I would not have deduced that from the quote you posted, Jack.

      (Geez, I hope the kevlar holds up today…)

      • If you said this, I would wonder if you had reevaluated your position on Clinton, if I knew prior to that that you wouldn’t vote for her. The above quote minimizes Clinton’s crimes, both directly and by comparing it to an issue one would assume is of greater relative importance.

      • I also think that he means it, but I’m unclear as to what would change if he didn’t… At the end of the day he’s a hard line Democrat that is looking at his party and describing a phenomenon that he sees…. It’s an ugly truth.

        I don’t know if you or Charles fall along the same lines, actually… I’m going to ask. The Ticket is Hillary and Joe vs. Jeb and Carly. Who you gonna vote for? But regardless of whether you or Charles think that way, Hillary is still the frontrunner, your party DOES think that way.

        • HT – “regardless of whether you or Charles think that way, Hillary is still the frontrunner, your party DOES think that way.”

          Exactly. That’s an accurate description of a great many Democrats, and an even higher percentage of HRC supporters.

          It is also the description offered up by Bouie (and it may also fit Bouie himself, based on information not in the original post).

            • HT, so you’re not going to let me off the hook eh? Well, since you ask nicely, and since you’ll presumably do your own reveal in return…

              To me, it’s a distasteful choice, lesser of two evils, made tougher because I’ve always kind of liked Biden and never trusted Fiorina since her days at Lucent and then what she did to a great company HP…but enough equivocation–I’d vote for Clinton-Biden over Bush-Fiorina.

              • See… I gave you a fixed choice, I tried to pick some of the more reasonable GOP Candidates, I’d vote for Bush over Clinton in half a heartbeat and feel good about it. Now if the tickets were Hillary/Joe vs. Rand/Marco I think I’d stay home and cut myself.

                • All of this being moot of course, I’m Canadian. This is going to be a really hard election cycle for me. The CPC government is…. I don’t know… stale? Perhaps? Starting to accumulate scandals and getting too comfortable. They need to go. But I can’t bring myself to vote Liberal, Trudeau is everything wrong with Canadian politics: He’s partisan, inexperienced, poorly spoken, naïve and only on the stage because his father was Pierre Trudeau. I kind of wish Marc Garneau had won the nomination, I could have voted for him… As it is, I might vote Green, Elizabeth May has just made a powerhouse showing every time she speaks.

  6. So this woman has gone on record to say that, because Hillary wants to grab people’s children and stick them in a government run brainwash barn as early as possible, they’ll turn out to vote for her? In spite of everything else?! True; every other contender on the Democrat ticket is a brain dead buffoon… and Biden hasn’t even joined yet. Still, there are GOP contestants with enough liberal credentials that one would think they’d gravitate there. Or is the word “Republican” such an anathema that they’d rather vote for a criminal who endangered the entire nation? Possibly so!

  7. The social contract, like any contract, has to have give and take on all sides. It’s a fundamental and unsolved problem of democracy that it tends to create a mass of people who don’t expect to give anything, including rule of law, in exchange for the things they take away.

  8. To think so, or to think they’ll change the race, is to say that scandal will override partisanship; that an otherwise liberal voter will walk into the ballot booth and mark the box for Jeb Bush or Gov. Scott Walker or Sen. Marco Rubio because of digital mismanagement. I liked what Clinton said about early childcare, thinks our hypothetical voter, but sending government email on a private server makes her unfit for the White House.

    Some might, but more would simply leave the box blank.

  9. Charles is clearly a sophist. An insincere game player. I think he should be banned. He wraps himself inside a veil of civility and intelligence but it’s a ruse. He’s almost evil. He certainly wastes a great deal of your time and energy, Jack.

    • I think I know Charles pretty well, though we have never met in person. I’d love to do a joint seminar with him. He’s got thick skin; he tried to see the other point of view, he is civil when others are not, and he’s articulate and analytical. He’s got some blind spots that surprise me, and I’m tough with him, buts he knows, I hope, that it’s not personal. He also says what he likes, which a lot of critics here don’t, and I appreciate that a lot.

      • Thanks, Jack. My sentiments exactly, and much appreciated. I can’t think of anyone else whom I’ve never met and with whom I disagree more, who I also respect and take as seriously, even though I too am often surprised by your perspectives.
        In case there’s any ambiguity, that’s a compliment.

    • Nooooo! THAT is what too many liberal sites do! They like being in an echo chamber. Ever notice how many sites delete all but the most asinine conservative comments, presumably to make their liberal readers feel smarter and more numerous than they actually are? Conservatives are the ones who are actually tolerant and appreciate diversity of opinion. Let’s not stoop to their level.

    • What he does is provide a foil, he’s like a lightning rod for every stupid democratic talking point, put forward in the best possible light and defended vigorously. If you can’t see the benefit to that… Well… We disagree.

      But secondary to that. I don’t want to see anyone banned, barring trolls or bots or people who start by flinging mindless obscenities.

      • And in that, you are quite right. I will not engage with Charles I don’t believe he can change his mind, no matter what, but he is as free as anyone else to express his views here. Quite obviously, he is NOT a troll.

        • Sometimes when I argue with people who I realize I will not change their minds, I switch tactics and talk to the audience. I think that if I put my point of view out against another person, that my logic or reason may be persuasive to an audience.

          • And I have done that, more than once, especially on topics, such as marijuana legalization in which I feel a personal involvement. I will continue to do so, just not with Charles and a couple of others.

        • For the record, Dragin, the most recent time – and there’ve been many – where I’ve publicly changed my mind is on the issue of what Donald Trump meant with his infamous “blood” comments.

          When I first heard it, my reaction was the same as Trump’s himself; I filled in “eyes, nose and ears” where he said “wherever,” and didn’t think much of it.

          The next morning, I was shocked to find the NYTimes translated his comments – didn’t even surmise, just directly translated – as being about menstruation. My first thought was, “Boy o boy, Jack is going to have a field day nailing the Times on this one, and for once I’ll agree with him – how dare they infer “menstruation” from that comment!”

          Of course as you know, the majority view turned out to be that that is precisely what Trump intended. That was a surprise to me – my opinion was most people would see it the way I saw it, and Trump saw it, and would view as liberal PC the idea that he was being anti-woman (though it didn’t surprise me that liberals would jump on him for meaning it).

          So, I changed my mind – clearly I was wrong about how the majority interpreted his comments. I still think Trump didn’t mean it the way people say he did (and I KNOW how I interpreted it), but I’ve clearly had to change my mind on how the majority of listeners heard it.

          And you – when was the last time you changed your mind in public?

          • Sweet Briar College…. I made the point that once something has been identified as discriminatory, it wasn’t up to victim groups to prove damage, it was up to proponents to prove such merit that it justified the discrimination. An SBC supporter beat me down with truly amazing statistics about the successes of female gender segregated post secondary institutions, and convinced me that while it was still discriminatory, it was effective enough to make a strong justification on the basis of utility.

            (I know that wasn’t directed towards me, but it’s a good exercise for everyone to go through)

  10. Good! Jamelle just made the case to vote for Trump,* no matter what.
    So did Charles. Good! Closed-mindedness knows no bounds.
    *(not for ME to vote for Trump – I will not vote for him – but for anyone who will vote for Trump, to vote for him)

    2015-16 are the years of voter attitude: “I made my decision before the candidates opened their mouths. So just put the name of the candidate I want to elect on the ballot, and let’s get it over with.”

    The joke on Trump voters is that he would rule exactly as T. Revagina.

  11. I have about 10 close friends that are Democrats. Out of those 10, I know that 10 of them don’t care if Hillary lied about Benghazi, lied about her e-mail server, sold out the US for ‘charity’ money, etc. They are Democrats and Hillary represents the Democratic Party. They have rationalized all her faults, all the scandals, and convinced themselves that none of that is really important. Hillary is SMART, Hillary is a WOMAN, Hillary stands for everything the Democratic Party stands for. Everyone makes mistakes and she’s not really hurting anyone with any of this. That ambassador was already dead, she really couldn’t have done anything to save him. It is better that she have the money from those horrible dictators and money launderers than somebody else. She will do good things with it. It definitely didn’t affect her decision, she just scammed them. Good for her!

    These are not stupid people. They have advanced degrees in science, mathematics, and law. But they are liberals and they have founded their identity on being liberals. It makes them smarter than everyone else. They laugh at how stupid conservatives are, how ignorant everyone else is. If Hillary isn’t a good candidate, then maybe all that is a lie. Maybe conservatives aren’t evil and stupid. This puts them in the same position as the poor whites of the South who supported secession rather than accept the end of slavery. They had miserable lives, but what they did have is their freedom. It was their whole identity, they were better than slaves because they were free. If slaves became free, then they wouldn’t be better than anyone else. People were asking them to admit that blacks were equal to them, and most couldn’t do it. If Hillary is unfit to be President, if a Republican or conservative is better qualified, then liberals aren’t special anymore and they aren’t better than conservatives anymore, then maybe liberals don’t have a special right to determine what is right anymore. That is why they will support Hillary, no matter what. I think, no, I know the Slate columnist is wrong. They will support her even if she is indicted. They will support her if she is convicted. They could find e-mails that clearly show that she gave favors to dictators and money launderers in exchange for cash and it won’t matter. Their entire self-worth is tied up in the myth that liberals are right and conservatives are wrong…period.

    • Michael, I think that is an excellent description of the obtuseness that informs deeply held political beliefs, particularly in the Demicrat side. It’s also very much what the author was describing–you did it better, but he was giving an empirical description of the mindset of the typical Hillary voter, and it aligns precisely with your ten pro-Hilkary Dems. It also perfectly describes my pro-Hillary friends.

      My original point was lost here–based solely on what was quoted, this was nothing more than an empirical description of the inner thinking on a particular kind of voter. Apparently, we all agree on it, too.
      The difference is that Jack–based on outside knowledge not reflected in the original quote–added the claim that the author ALSO held that mindset, AND moved the discussion to one saying that that mindset was unethical, foolish et al.
      In other words, Jack was assuming facts not in evidence, and using them to critique the point of view, rather than just acknowledging or denying the EXISTENCE of the point of view–which was all the author’s quoted words spoke to.

      I guess an analogy would be if someone had said, “The average Southerner in 1854 held views that would be today classified as racist,” and then Jack took the author to task for himself holding racist ideas.

      To describe a viewpoint is not to adopt that viewpoint. Your description of the pro-Hillary mindset I think is highly accurate, AND you’ve made it clear that you disagree with it. I am SIMPLY stating that Jack was confusing an author’s description with an author’s advocacy, and that to defend the latter required knowledge not in evidence based in the quotes Jack provided. Since I for one had never heard of the guy, the evidence provided was not dispositive. If Jack says the guy resembles those remarks, fine, he just didn’t make that point in his original piece.

      And may I suggest that holding each other to high standards of evidence and tight logic is not sophistry, it’s taking care with language and thought.

      • I see the point, but it is a fine one. I think this pathological partisanship is the most dangerous problem this country faces, currently.

        I often ask myself if I am suffering from the same sort of ideology and I refuse to make myself such a slave. I have forced myself to vote for people in parties that I don’t like because the candidate of the party I favor was corrupt, or incompetent. At times, I have regretted voting for the person because they did just what I was afraid they would. In the end, however, I realize that my vote caused the lesser harm. If you can’t vote for a candidate running for a party other than the one you favor for any reason, you are the problem.

        I really believe in supporting third party candidates because without them to keep the major parties honest, the major parities are free to give us party hacks and corrupt fools as candidates. I look at the current slate of presidential hopefuls from both major parties and I ask myself “Which of them can stand up to Putin or China?”.

        • For what it’s worth Michael, I agree with you about the dangers of “pathological partisanship,” as you put it. The “right” too easily becomes the enemy of the pragmatic. I also agree with your logic for supporting third party movements, and it’s helpful to see you articulate it, because that is a point I find myself wavering on frequently.

    • I believe there is almost nothing the Hill-Billy duo could do that would change that. Liberalism IS a constellation of symptoms of a mental disorder. I’m dead serious. We’re seeing childhood insecurity dramas being reenacted in the political arena. It’s also a cult. One day, it will be in the DSM, and we will marvel at how it was allowed to go on for so long and wreak such havoc. That is, if they haven’t destroyed this country by then.

      • Seriously? Are you actually going to say that being a liberal is a mental disorder?

        I have just never understood why these discussions end up with the conservative commenters name-calling and deriding not just the liberal commenters on this blog but all liberals. I never see the liberal commenters being uncivil to the conservatives commenters. I feel like we’re on the playground with a bunch of poorly behaving children. Why can’t these discussions stay on topic and civil? Is the incivility some sort of badge of honor among those of you here who do these things? Even Jack, who never pulls his punches, is almost always civil and on topic. (Unless he’s cracking wise.)

        • This isn’t name-calling and derision, though. It is a seriously-held belief, not just by me, but a few prominent psychiatrists out there. One of them, Lyle Rossiter, published an excellent book; The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness. He makes a pretty solid case for the hypothesis. Definitely worth checking out. There are others, but this one is a very polished and thorough work. Do you believe that mental illness should be stigmatized, and its sufferers subjected to ridicule? That’s not at all what I’m doing. I’ve had my own mental health issues, I’m not ashamed to say, and I’ve dealt with them exceedingly and uncommonly well. I hope that liberals will one day do the same. You may not LIKE what I’m saying, but that doesn’t, in and of itself, make it any less true. I believe it is true, and I believe this nation is paying dearly for it.

        • So yes, if there’s any lingering doubt, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Is there some reason I should censor this? Is it “hate speech”? I think anyone on here, other than you, will tell you that I’m pretty civil, comparatively speaking.

        • I’m not apoplectic, I’m just baffled, because I think there’s plenty there in the way he said this to infer his position. Not that that matters much, because there’s material written by him elsewhere that supports this, not to mention the fact that you agree that it’s probably his position anyway. However, you brought up the point that there’s not enough there for the inference, so I’m just following through here.

        • It’s worth mentioning that I make the distinction between people who hold some liberal views, and absolute lock-step ideologues. Maybe I should have made that clear from the start.

      • “Liberalism IS a constellation of symptoms of a mental disorder. I’m dead serious.”

        And you think that’s NOT name-calling and derision?

        Giving you the benefit of the doubt for a minute, let me ask for a clarification: is your comment about classic liberalism a la Voltaire, Diderot, Hume, Mill? And/or is it about 20th century liberals like JFK and FDR? And/or is it about centrist democrats like Obama and Clinton? And/or is it about left-wing Dems like Bernie Sanders? And/or are you talking about fringe movements like trigger-warning fans?

        Just where does the diagnosis of mental disorder apply?

        And by the way, I think there is more than a grain of truth in the idea that classic right/left political persuasions are highly correlated with fundamentally different psychological and ethical views, e.g. relative emphasis on liberty vs. fairness, or on freedom from vs. freedom to.

        But I have the feeling you think only one side of the political calculus belongs in the DSM – am I right?

        • No, modern liberals are NOTHING like classic liberals, and bear little resemblance even to the liberals of JFK’s day. No, I don’t think there’s a shortage of extreme right-wing loonies; being an ideologue, in and of itself, is evidence of mental dysfunction, but what I do believe is that leftism, statism, is more easily described in terms of a defined group of psychological symptomology and etiology, specifically childhood schemas seeking resolution in adopting the state as parental surrogate; a transference neurosis. I added to my original post that this is particularly applicable to someone with absolute, unshakable, rigid left-wing allegiance. It’s funny; liberals look down on conservatives like scientists observing a specimen under a microscope all the time, but when a conservative does it, they get….apoplectic 😉

          • If it makes you feel better, and if it maybe helps you understand that Im not saying all this with rancor or derision, I have bipolar disorder and PTSD. I don’t think many of us, if any, escape life’s trials and tribulations unscathed.

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