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Fear and Self Loathing in Conservative-ville. - Adventures in Engineering — LiveJournal
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2006-11-09 16:24
  Subject:   Fear and Self Loathing in Conservative-ville.
Public
  Mood:coding
  Music:Garbage - Temptation Waits

No, this isn't a post about the mid-term elections. Yay, the Democrats won! Whee! ... So the hell what. I remain highly skeptical that the same party that allowed Bush's absolutely phony war resolution to pass, and also meekly stood by while a blatantly unconstitutional disappear and torture bill flew through Congress, will have the balls to do anything meaningful about W. They get no love from me until they prove that they have some kind of actual principles beyond "do whatever is necessary to stay in office." Until then, fuck 'em. As usual, all I ask is that they prove me totally wrong.

Well, okay, maybe there's one thing I do want to say about the mid-terms. And that is, screw anyone who wanted the election in Virginia called for the Democrat early. You guys have learned NOTHING from Florida in 2k. If we're going to have a functional democracy, then every vote must count, and every vote must be counted. And if there's any doubt in the minds of anyone involved in the process that we got the count wrong, then it needs to be done again. And again. And again after that, if necessary. As many times as it takes until we're sure we got it right. Anything less is not democracy - it is random luck plus an oligarchy of vote-counters.

Never be afraid to lose honestly. If you need an example, look no further than Rick Santorum, whose concession speech was surprisingly - I might even say shockingly - intelligent. It showed a tremendous maturity on his part, a maturity that I was heretofore convinced that he didn't have given his "gay" = "dog fucking" comments. And, oh yeah, can we please stop making fun of his 8 year old daughter? I admit I am a sick, sick little monkey and laughed pretty hard at this. But truthfully, there's nothing wrong with her crying because her dad lost. She's just disappointed, and that's perfectly natural. We have plenty of great targets in the conservative ranks to tear apart, and for entirely legit reasons. Can we please not pick on blameless little kids who, after all, didn't get to choose who their parents are?


But far more interesting in my mind than the mid-term elections, have been the contortions that the Republicans are going through lately with regards to the scandals within their own ranks. I admit, what brought this to mind was Dan Savage's op-ed piece in the NYT today. Which I recommend, since it seems to sum up things rather nicely. What it totally fails to capture for me personally, though, is the great sense of schadenfreude hilarity I have about the whole thing. For me, the funniest thing about the Foley, Haggard (great name for a politician!) and that meth-snorting, gay-prostitute patronizing priest - not that there's anything wrong with that! - is that... the only people who cared that they were gay? The conservatives!! Nobody on the liberal side of the fence could give a hoot. We're all like, "Oh, he's gay? Okay, but tell me how he voted on the Clean Water Act again?" It's the Republicans who are all in a panic, running around in circles, waving their arms, eyes big as saucers, hyperventilating and totally clueless about what to do. Watching the culture warriors whirl themselves up into a tizzy and make total fools of themselves, over something that nobody else cares about, was the most hilarious thing I've seen happen in DC in years.

I felt a similiar amusement when Richard Perle recently turned on the White House and laid the now obvious failure of the war in Iraq on Bush's head. Now, give the guy credit: he's at least smart enough to see the obvious fact that nobody in the White House seems to have been able to notice, even as it beats down their door. But I'm still amused by both his fair-weather friend, only-while-we're-winning mentality (Loyalty? Principle? What are those?), as well as his complete inability to understand his own role in creating the problem! Cuz, you know, it's not like both Bush Sr. and Stormin' Norman warned us 15 years ago that taking over Iraq was a really bad idea. No, no! It's not that Perle and his friends at the NeoCon think-tanks were totally wrong about invading Iraq - of course not! It's just that Bush did a bad job of it! If he had just run things better, we would have been greeted as liberators! And we would have found all those huge stockpiles of Weapons of Mass Destruction that Saddam absolutely had! And terrorism would have been abolished from the planet once and for all! America, fuck yeah!! ;D


I'd tell the conservatives to quit being such hilariously tight-assed homophobes (maybe listen to your bretheren in the Log Cabin Republicans once in a while? Eh?) and maybe get a clue about unjustified wars of aggression, but frankly the entertainment value is just too good. Please, keep hanging yourselves. This is the most fun I've had watching politics since Bill Clinton swore up and down that he "did not have relations with that woman" way back in '98.

(You know... Monica was an intern. Do you think maybe the Democrats should make up some slogan like: "The Democrats: At least all of OUR intern-boinkers are straight!" I think it'd play huge in the red states!![1])

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[1] "Huge (In The Red States)" may need to be the name of TTTP's second album...
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  User: nickhalfasleep
  Date: 2006-11-10 00:16 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Okay, how about voting for local issues. Wouldn't you support domestic partnersips, or a repealing of the sunday blue laws?
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-11-10 00:21 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Okay, how about voting for local issues.

Already said that I think voting in local elections is cool. In local elections, your vote might actually matter.

Wouldn't you support domestic partnersips,

No, thought I was clear about this too. The government has no business telling people they can or can't get married. I also see no reason for them to give special treatment to people who do get married.

repealing of the sunday blue laws?

Yes, I'm all for that. And the legalization of marijuana for adults.
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Willow: Black Rose
  User: willow_red
  Date: 2006-11-10 03:24 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Keyword:Black Rose
Now I am thoroughly confused. Combine our comment exchange in the linked post with what you say in this one, and I can't figure out if you voted or not. (Note that my definition of having voted is handing in a ballot, whether you wrote something on every line, some of them, or just left the whole thing blank.)

If you don't want to say whether or not you voted, that is of course your prerogative, but in your posts, you seem to claim both sides.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-11-10 03:25 (UTC)
  Subject:   I did not vote this election.
Not even on local measures.
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dpcfmander
  User: dpcfmander
  Date: 2006-11-10 00:31 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Gee... who knew annoying code could inspire such deep posts? :)
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-11-10 00:40 (UTC)
  Subject:   Survey says...

EVERYONE WHO READS BEN'S LJ!

Yay!!
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-11-10 07:52 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
It was the Liberal side that A) Outed Him,

You say it was a group of gay activists that outed him? Who then fired the intern that actually did the outing?

Unless you have some more evidence than that, I'm afraid the claim that the Liberals outed Foley holds no more water than the one about Rove being behind the Swift Boat Vets. You're seeing a conspiracy where none exists.

B) Knew what was going on,

If the Liberals did know, it doesn't seem that they were the ones talking. Rodney Alexander (R-La) went to Hastart's staff and told them about what Foley had been doing. So clearly Alexander knew the full extent of what was going on, and he tried to let the Republican leadership know. Boehner and Reynolds also tried to alert Hastert.

C) Waited for October to spring that particular surprise

Again, I'd like a cite that shows the timing was intentional on the part of the Liberals, if you have one.

(which as I recall, you applauded).

Really, now. I recall comparing it to the insanely stupid and pointless Lewinsky scandal. Which was another instance where a bunch idiots decided it would be fun to drag someone's sex life out into the spotlight for political gain.

Nevermind the fact that the page the emails were sent to were over 18.

It wasn't the emails that got him in trouble. The emails were tame. It was the racy instant messages to a 16 year old that the uproar was over.

Your side of the fence literally ran ads linking Foley to O'Donnel (who had never even been elected as a national election).

You may recall that I told the Democrats to kiss off a while back, and have maintained that attitude towards them right up to this very post.

I love the irony of someone trying to pin all of the DOMA acts passing on Republicans, right after they loose the election.

I think you're projecting what you want to see. I wasn't trying to make any kind of point about defense of marriage acts. I can see how the issues are linked, but it wasn't my intention to make Foley some kind of example of... anything... about DOMA. I was simply saying that I found it amusing how conservatives turned on each other, over issues that liberals long ago dealt with and moved past.


See, your reaction here is typical. This subject upsets conservatives so much they they go completely nuts about it, runnin' all around like a chicken with their heads cut off. Just relax a little bit, man. I'm telling you - your side of the aisle are the only ones who gets so upset over this. Nobody else cares.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-11-10 17:46 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
The NYT's mandatory registration annoys me continuously, I wish those guys would quit that crap. Bugmenot gave me commstudent1/journalism as a login/pw to use, and it seems to have worked. Here's an easier URL to get to the story:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/26/us/politics/26foley.html?ei=5070&en=a4c66a011377cb48&ex=1163307600

Quoting the story:

A liberal gay rights group said Wednesday that one of its employees, acting anonymously, had created the Web site that first published copies of unusually solicitous e-mail messages to teenagers from former Representative Mark Foley, which led to his resignation.

A spokesman for the group, the Human Rights Campaign, said it first learned of its employee’s role this week and immediately fired him for misusing the group’s resources.

The rights campaign’s spokesman, David Smith, said the employee, whose name he declined to disclose, was a junior staff member hired last month to help mobilize the organization’s members in Michigan. "The minute we learned about it we took decisive action," Mr. Smith said.


This would appear to be one person, not even a real member of said gay rights group, acting alone. How does this show that the Democrats intentionally outed Foley? Yes, the guy probably was a liberal, but I don't see how this proves some intentional coordinated political move on the part of the Liberals in general.

Rodney Alexander didn't have a copy of the IM's (which is what set the whole thing off). He had heard the rumours, and had a different set of concerns.

Still shows that the Liberals were far from the only ones who knew about it.

You are really behind on this story, and I am not sure why. The IM's that were running front page when the scandal broke, were sent after he was 18.

Upon further research, I find that you are absolutely correct about this. I had not seen the later stories, only the earlier ones that incorrectly claimed the page was 16. Mea Culpa. I should have dug deeper and not just blindly trusted what I saw in the news.

Above article mentions that the person in question had had the IM's and emails for a half year.

So the individual guy timed it for maximum political gain? Okay, I can see that. But where's the planning on the part of the Liberals in general?

Why put your skepticism and analytic side to bed just because you like when people you don't agree with getting hurt?

My skepticism and analytical side is what keeps me from believing wild conspiracy theories that there's no evidence for...

One last thing, the Republicans lost this election because they didn't act as conservatives for the last 12 years.

Yes, I agree totally. I've been making the point that the NeoCons are not really Republicans for almost a year now.

The Abramoff stuff hurt just as well (and by the way, will sooner or later take down the new Senate Majority leader (D) who took tons of cash from Abramoff).

Well, I can certainly hope that another corrupt DC scumbag will go down...

Think the left doesn't care about it? Go check out the uproar when Clinton pardoned a democratic rep, who was kicked out of the staff for actually sleeping with a underage girl.

Clinton did a lot of things I disagreed with. The examples that come to mind first are Waco and Somalia, but I disagree with his stance on "assault" rifles too.

I'm not saying that DC politicis doesn't love sex scandals. Of course they do. They're *politicians*. I'm just saying, liberal people on the whole don't give a damn if Foley is gay. It's conservative people who got all wigged out about it.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-11-10 19:30 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Republicans wigged out about Foley, simply because Foley used his position of authority for sexual purposes with someone in his employ/charge. We didn't like it when Clinton did it and we really don't like it when someone who claims to be (R) does it.

Fair enough. That's a principled stand I can certainly agree with.
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Alex Belits
  User: abelits
  Date: 2006-11-12 06:10 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
You are really behind on this story, and I am not sure why. The IM's that were running front page when the scandal broke, were sent after he was 18.

Upon further research, I find that you are absolutely correct about this. I had not seen the later stories, only the earlier ones that incorrectly claimed the page was 16. Mea Culpa. I should have dug deeper and not just blindly trusted what I saw in the news.


(owl goes here)

Just google for any phrase in the following to see the sources:

Xxxxxxxxxx (7:55:37 PM): lol
Maf54 (7:55:42 PM): shows your package then
Xxxxxxxxxx (8:33:29 PM): ya slow things down a little im still young…like under 18 dont want to do anything illegal…im not 18 till feb 23
Maf54 (8:33:43 PM): i know..
Maf54 (8:33:50 PM): nothing will happen
Maf54 (8:34:04 PM): just dreaming


Also the myspace of the guy (now obviously down, though Google has a cache of it) shows that he served as a page in Congress in 2001-2002, before he turned eighteen.

Also see CNN story that mentions the guy's name. So yes, this guy definitely was not 18 at the time of those events.

And I think, I have to add just for some very dense people reading this -- that was not the only underage guy involved.

The whole "Democrats knew!!!" thing is based on absolutely nothing, and is manufactured by Republicans' propaganda in exactly the same manner as the famous swiftboating. It is even more idiotic because Republicans seem to be completely disinterested in the fact that Foley approached for sex and pictures a person who was 1. underage, 2. over whom he was in a position of authority. All they care for is the fact that Foley is gay, and apparently "gay conspiracy" ratted him out to support Democrats.
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Alex Belits
  User: abelits
  Date: 2006-11-10 10:23 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
I am so fucking proud to be a foreigner...
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  User: (Anonymous)
  Date: 2006-11-10 18:40 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Yes, your home country has such a splendid democratic process.
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Alex Belits
  User: abelits
  Date: 2006-11-10 19:57 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
I don't believe in democratic process -- it is easy to defeat, and no improvement in the formal process can guarantee that people in power will not use their positions against the interests of population. Hiding behind "but we were elected democratically! we can do anything we want!" shouldn't absolve politicians from responsibility (the real one, as in life in prison and confiscation of property, not losing power for 4-8 years and accepting mild verbal abuse what republicans are going to get now) for betraying their people.

And I see a lot more of this "betraying their people" stuff in US than in any other country where I lived.
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  User: (Anonymous)
  Date: 2006-11-11 19:43 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
So as a question, why are you living in the states then?
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Alex Belits
  User: abelits
  Date: 2006-11-11 20:24 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Because I hate your freedom, or some other crap like that.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-11-11 20:28 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Oh. MY. GOD.

MUST. STOP. LAUGHING!!!!

THE AFRO HATES YOUR FREEDOM!!!!
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Ohmi
  User: ohmisunao
  Date: 2006-11-10 10:42 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Not exactly related.. but I found out our game (Sims 2 Pets) got a "T"een rating from the ESRB even though we censored the crap out of it because we left same-sex relationships in the game.. it's a core principle of the Sims apparently.. and for that we get a Teen rating instead of E-10 which is a much wider audience.
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Ashfae
  User: ashfae
  Date: 2006-11-10 13:44 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Never be afraid to lose honestly.

This is such a succinct piece of good advice that I rather want to write it everywhere, including tattooing it on people's foreheads if that's what it takes to get the point across.
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