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It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear.
August 5, 2011 1:41 PM   Subscribe

[This thread needs to not become Ironmouth v. Everyone. Thanks. ]

I'm not sure what the point of this moderatorial comment is. Ironmouth posts relentlessly from his partisan pro-Obama, anti-Wikileaks positions. Is the moderatorial direction that if people disagree with him that we aren't allowed to post, because he won't stop?
posted by rodgerd to Etiquette/Policy at 1:41 PM (326 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

Is the moderatorial direction that if people disagree with him that we aren't allowed to post, because he won't stop?

No, the direction is that the thread needs to not become

- a referendum on one user's opinion on everything
- Ironmouth being shouty and sort of increasingly ascerbic with people

It's tough because in a fast-moving thread, removing a comment before three people have commented on it is really difficult and fairly unrewarding. That said, MeTa is a much better place to have this conversation than in that thread. We removed a few comments from both Ironmouth and everyone else.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:43 PM on August 5, 2011


But someone is wrong on the internet!

Ironmouth dude, you're cool, but .... ease back homie
posted by cashman at 1:44 PM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, it's a request made of both Ironmouth and Everyone.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:45 PM on August 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is there a link here I'm missing?

Seriously, how hard is it to link to what you're talking about so that people can, you know, discuss it? Not to pounce on you, rodgerd, but this happens ALL THE TIME.

/hermitosis vs. Everyone
posted by hermitosis at 1:47 PM on August 5, 2011 [53 favorites]


If you are going to the trouble of starting a meta providing a link to what you are on about is considered good form.
posted by mlis at 1:48 PM on August 5, 2011


Here's the thread.
posted by Specklet at 1:48 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


And here's the link to the comment.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:49 PM on August 5, 2011


Thread link

Ironmouth posts relentlessly from his partisan pro-Obama, anti-Wikileaks positions.

The same could be said of the other side.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:49 PM on August 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Or the mods could delete that comment that comment of mine.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:50 PM on August 5, 2011


Or the mods could delete that comment that comment of mine.

Can't tell if you're kidding or not. Clarify?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:56 PM on August 5, 2011


Specklet: "Here's the thread."

Thanks.
posted by zarq at 1:59 PM on August 5, 2011


Was serious, it's repeated link that's mangled and the other comment seems a bit fighty, so need need for any of it to remain, IMO. If ya'll feel otherwise, that's cool!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:59 PM on August 5, 2011


if people disagree with him that we aren't allowed to post, because he won't stop?

well, not every argument needs to be answered. if it's just the same old shit by the same old person (whatever your personal threshold for shit and person is) then what's the point in fighting back? it's basically the definition of feeding the troll. if you feel there is someone that will never listen, will keep making wrong-headed comments, will shout down any position, the best way to reduce their frequency of commenting is to not respond.
posted by nadawi at 2:00 PM on August 5, 2011


I really wish Ironmouth, furiousxgeorge, and the rest of the usual suspects had kept their ongoing dispute in the still-open thread instead of rehashing the exact same stuff in the new one.
posted by lalex at 2:00 PM on August 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


Heh. Every time I'd click on a flag in that thread I'd start cussing because it took so long to load. So I'm just as happy it moved on, if only for my poor computer's sake.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 2:03 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's a lot easier to moderate Ironmouth out of the thread than expect the rest of the village to not get shouty with him. He shouts. A lot. Directly at people. Once you have 10+ comments deleted in the same thread it should be time out.
posted by mek at 2:03 PM on August 5, 2011 [13 favorites]


If you don't like what other people are posting, I find the best thing is to not engage or to minimally engage in that. Make some other point, argue for something completely tangential to what they are blathering about

We don't stand in the center of the room in a party listing for someone saying something we disagree with and then run over to start a heated debate with them.. or at least I don't. We are free to ignore people.
posted by edgeways at 2:04 PM on August 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


And remember Winter Election is coming
posted by edgeways at 2:06 PM on August 5, 2011 [16 favorites]


My impression from watching two or three political threads that ironmouth has participated in is that he tends to comment very frequently, and I wonder if the people who disagree with him get the impression because of it that he's monopolizing the conversation, or being too aggressive. In at least one or two of the cases0 I'm thinking about, at least 10% of the comments in a lengthy thread were his. The current thread has a couple of hundred comments, and I believe he's made at least 25-30 of them.

Which is not to say he shouldn't participate. He makes decent, engaging arguments often, and it's good that he's not making drive-by comments and leaving.
posted by zarq at 2:07 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's a lot easier to moderate Ironmouth out of the thread than expect the rest of the village to not get shouty with him

And if we just ban comments which disagree with the majority that would be even better.

That said, I don't think we should expect people not to get shouty with him. A little internet shouty never hurts.
posted by Justinian at 2:08 PM on August 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


I mostly appreciate the back-and-forth. Ironmouth makes legitimate points, and has an interesting inside-baseball perspective that adds some practical grounding to the usual free-floating angst. The debate reveals some unexpected things, too, like the fact some people simply don't think strategically about this stuff.

(Also, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who's damn tired of the "hippy punching" victimhood crap. After seeing it seven times over in the last thread, I was going to wonder aloud how long it would take to show up in this one before I saw it already had within the first 50 comments.)
posted by Rhaomi at 2:09 PM on August 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


A little internet shouty never hurts.

Not true. Once Ironmouth said I farted but really I didn't and I was so upset I disabled my account and ran away.
posted by Hoopo at 2:11 PM on August 5, 2011 [28 favorites]


And remember Winter Election is coming

The funny part is everyone (including me) gets all angry about it and even the first Republican primary is over an entire football season away. Every possible thing we bring up now could change between then and now, and that's just the start of the process.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:12 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]



(Also, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who's damn tired of the "hippy punching" victimhood crap. After seeing it seven times over in the last thread, I was going to wonder aloud how long it would take to show up in this one before I saw it already had within the first 50 comments.)


7 times out of over 3000 comments. The word "fuck" shows up 226 times, just imagine if you were someone bothered by profanity as much as "hippy punching".
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:15 PM on August 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


He makes decent, engaging arguments often, and it's good that he's not making drive-by comments and leaving.

No, it's really not. If he'd lay out his position and his arguments in a few substantial comments and then just stop, it wouldn't destroy other people's ability to talk to or about anyone or anything else in the thread — but his current tendency to leave a thousand separate little carping quote-and-responses every five minutes absolutely does.
posted by RogerB at 2:16 PM on August 5, 2011 [12 favorites]


(Also, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who's damn tired of the "hippy punching" victimhood crap. After seeing it seven times over in the last thread, I was going to wonder aloud how long it would take to show up in this one before I saw it already had within the first 50 comments.)

If you don't want to hear about hippy punching, don't punch hippies. It's a pretty simple equation.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:16 PM on August 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


Why exactly was that thread allow to stand at the outset? It was little more than "single link Greenwald-filter", framed in such a way that the only direction it could go once Ironmouth showed up was the way it did: Ironmouth v. Everyone.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:16 PM on August 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


And if we just ban comments which disagree with the majority that would be even better.

I think we can agree there is a happy medium between "no moderation whatsoever" and "Stalinist regime," and that Metafilter lies somewhere between those two extremes.
posted by mek at 2:17 PM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


In at least one or two of the cases0 I'm thinking about, at least 10% of the comments in a lengthy thread were his. The current thread has a couple of hundred comments, and I believe he's made at least 25-30 of them.

In the current thread, looks like he's made 42 comments out of 205 (including deleted ones.) That's definitely a percentage that starts to look like monopolizing the conversation.

Why exactly was that thread allow to stand at the outset? It was little more than "single link Greenwald-filter"

I can't speak for everyone, but I was inclined to leave it because the previous thread on the topic had really gotten into too-big-to-load territory and it's still a current topic of conversation. It has some flags but not a ton.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 2:19 PM on August 5, 2011


It was little more than "single link Greenwald-filter"

We all sort of looked at it and made a face, but it never approached critical flagging mass and I think we all felt that it was going to happen anyhow and.. .on preview, yeah what r_n says.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:21 PM on August 5, 2011


If you don't want to hear about hippy punching, don't punch hippies. It's a pretty simple equation.

The term is interesting. It's like the Tea Party, a small group banding together by claiming victimhood in a coded phrase.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:24 PM on August 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


I think the core problem with "hippy-punching" is that it's lazy and passive-aggressive which are traits that seem to be discouraged on Metafilter. I can understand that there are often profound differences of opinion on all sorts of issues but it seems to be an accusation meant to silence those opinions.
posted by vuron at 2:25 PM on August 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


Is the moderatorial direction that if people disagree with him that we aren't allowed to post, because he won't stop?

[This thread needs to not become Ironmouth v. Everyone. Thanks. ]

I see no mention of not responding to IMs' thesis or argument in the comment, just not to drag other stuff in. If IM posts alot of stuff in a thread I assume he can keep up with the groups counter-point.
posted by clavdivs at 2:26 PM on August 5, 2011


Do you guys really want him to just shut the fuck up so we can all agree with eachother?
posted by Ad hominem at 2:27 PM on August 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


restless_nomad: " In the current thread, looks like he's made 42 comments out of 205 (including deleted ones.) That's definitely a percentage that starts to look like monopolizing the conversation."

Holy crap.
posted by zarq at 2:29 PM on August 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


If you don't want to hear about hippy punching, don't punch hippies. It's a pretty simple equation.

I've never punched anyone. And I don't think I know any hippies. Can I stop hearing this stupid term now?
posted by shakespeherian at 2:30 PM on August 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


hippy punching is stupid as a term. Hippies= generally peaceful people.
It's just not right to punch peaceful people.
posted by clavdivs at 2:32 PM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


furiousxgeorge: "7 times out of over 3000 comments. The word "fuck" shows up 226 times, just imagine if you were someone bothered by profanity as much as "hippy punching""

Imagine reading a thread about child abuse in the Catholic Church and coming across more than half a dozen variations on this:
A: Catholics shouldn't be leaving the church in protest; it would be more effective to put pressure on the relatively small hierarchy who are knowingly abetting the abuse.

B: Keep chokeslamming those nuns, A! You'll destroy Christianity in no time!
Even in a long thread, I think seven instances of such a twisted, disingenuous potshot is overdoing it. Especially if the exact same potshot was showing up multiple times in every other thread on the subject.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:32 PM on August 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


agreed, holy smokes.
posted by clavdivs at 2:33 PM on August 5, 2011


Do you guys really want him to just shut the fuck up so we can all agree with eachother?

I suspect it is more the frequency then the message (although I imagine for some it may be the message as well).
posted by edgeways at 2:33 PM on August 5, 2011


restless_nomad: " In the current thread, looks like he's made 42 comments out of 205 (including deleted ones.) That's definitely a percentage that starts to look like monopolizing the conversation."

Holy crap.


And furiousxgeorge has made 31. It's both of them, having the exact same argument they did in the old thread.
posted by lalex at 2:33 PM on August 5, 2011 [15 favorites]


I, for one, will agree to retire "hippie-punching" just as soon as Ironmouth stops claiming that Nader voters are to blame for the Iraq war and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis, as he eventually does in each and every one of these threads. People are using lazy shorthand rhetoric on both sides of this argument, and I'm not sure why hippie-punching keeps getting singled out.
posted by dialetheia at 2:35 PM on August 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


If you don't want to hear about hippy punching, don't punch hippies.

Disagreeing with someone's opinion, even that of a hippie, isn't the same as punching them. You'd have a legitimate complaint if other people were expressing their disagreement via comments like 'shut up hippie', but they're not. I have no idea whether someone I might disagree with sees themselves as a hippy or not, and I don't see why I should have to get a permission slip to express my disagreement with them first.
posted by anigbrowl at 2:35 PM on August 5, 2011 [11 favorites]


Maybe we could have a greasemonkey script that shows a percentage tally right next to the "Post Comment" button how much of the thread is your own comments.
posted by hermitosis at 2:37 PM on August 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


A: Catholics shouldn't be leaving the church in protest; it would be more effective to put pressure on the relatively small hierarchy who are knowingly abetting the abuse.

B: Keep chokeslamming those nuns, A! You'll destroy Christianity in no time!
Even in a long thread, I think seven instances of such a twisted, disingenuous potshot is overdoing it.


You are welcome to that perspective, from mine it goes like this:

A. If those nuns would just shut up and stop criticizing the pope we wouldn't be in this situation.
B. Why the hell are you blaming the nuns?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:37 PM on August 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


I don't want Ironmouth to shut up, and I agree with the comments above that I think he often makes good arguments and it's nice to have people who don't all agree. On the other hand, there was a bit of a little run there of discussion in that thread where we were spitballing about who might get the Republican nomination, and I think that discussion died a quick death because the thread was nothing but relentless Ironmouth vs. Everyone on Is Obama To Blame For Everything??? Or Is He Flawless???

Which has existed in far too many threads now. I honestly don't care whose fault it is, whether it's Ironmouth, furiousxgeorge, or anyone else's-- it's exhausting and tiring and keeps more interesting and, probably, insightful conversations from happening.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:37 PM on August 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


Yeah, furiousxgeorge needs to get his shit straight.

Alas, here he is to have the same conversation in this thread, too. Joy.
posted by the young rope-rider at 2:38 PM on August 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I suspect it is more the frequency then the message (although I imagine for some it may be the message as well).

I see what you mean, but it really seems to be everyone v. Ironmouth and he is trying to address everyone's points as everyone piles on. Maybe pick one designated hippy for him to debate.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:39 PM on August 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure why hippie-punching keeps getting singled out.

Because it seems specifically and wantonly violent? And because this hippie mod thinks it harshes her general lifebuzz?

And we should be clear, it would be great if everyone would stop having the same general hollering match, not just Ironmouth. Optimally threads should be discussions where everyone can participate, not just some sort of sort of fealty gauntlet where a few people lord the Sacred Opinions over everyone else. We sort of rely on people to get to the point where they realizing they're dominating a conversation and stepping back somewhat. This doesn't always work in practice.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:41 PM on August 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


I've said this before, but I just think it's silly to equate hippies with politicos. Hippies had good music, knew how to make candles and practiced free love and drug-taking. These things have nothing to do with Ralph Nader.
posted by Bookhouse at 2:42 PM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Alas, here he is to have the same conversation in this thread, too. Joy.

Hey, Norquist, the Tea Party, and HillaryIs44 pay me good money for these posts, but I do have a quota.

Honestly, Ironmouth and I had a long memail chain too trying to keep the back and forth out of the thread but we both seem to push each other's buttons so we see each other replying to other people and can't resist. I'll try and keep it down in the future, I consider him one of the most interesting users here.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:43 PM on August 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


No that's clavdivs.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:44 PM on August 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


I, for one, will agree to retire "hippie-punching" just as soon as Ironmouth stops claiming that Nader voters are to blame for the Iraq war and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis, as he eventually does in each and every one of these threads.

Doing a search for "Nader" in the almost 3,200+ comment "Endgame" thread reveals 5 hits. Furiousgeorge is the first one and Iron mouth is the next, making smart ass comment that doesn't mention Nader votes or the Iraq war.

So there's that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:44 PM on August 5, 2011


I, for one, will agree to retire "hippie-punching" just as soon as Ironmouth stops claiming that Nader voters are to blame for the Iraq war and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis

Oh man. I get to avoid that sort of criticism because I'm not American, but why does it have to be Nader voters of all people? How do the 40-60% of people who don't even bother to vote at all get off scott-free in all this?
posted by Hoopo at 2:45 PM on August 5, 2011 [10 favorites]


I mean this respectfully dialetheia, that is not a terribly good model to follow: I will stop X bad behavior when he stops X+1 bad behavior. You don't have to do something bad because someone else is doing equally bad.
posted by edgeways at 2:46 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is the sort of thing I am referring to, Brandon.
posted by dialetheia at 2:47 PM on August 5, 2011


I, for one, will agree to retire "hippie-punching" just as soon as Ironmouth stops claiming that Nader voters are to blame for the Iraq war and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis, as he eventually does in each and every one of these threads. (emphasis added)

How does this differ from 'I will agree to stop shooting first at every opportunity when my opponent stops responding to sustained small arms fire with hand grenades'? As it happens, I don't think you personally are in the habit of breaking out rhetorical bullets like 'hippy punching' as a matter of course. But there are quite a few people with a persistent habit of getting their snark on early on in any thread, and it's a bit disingenuous to complain about Ironmouth losing his temper in every thread when temperate or thoughtful remarks are consistently replied to with derisory or provocative one-liners.

From the MeFi thread:
Three days ago the left was all up in arms about how Obama got played. Now they are accusing him of being the evil mastermind. You can't have it both ways, people.

Starting the hippy punching early this thread, eh? Democrats approved of this plan more than anyone else, there is no imaginary liberal "they" for you to accuse of hypocrisy, there is a disagreement among some people on the left.
OK, so first we have a statement from Ironmouth suggesting that Glenn Greenwald et al. are essentially contradicting themselves from one day to the next. That's an opinion one might disagree with, but it points out the basic dichotomy which is the subject of the FPP - that it doesn't make a lot of sense to call Obama a milquetoast one day and the antichrist on another.

What does this have to do with hippies or punching (in the sense of directly insulting other posters)? Nothing. It's an argument, and the response is to castigate Ironmouth for making a kind of personal attack which never actually occurred.
posted by anigbrowl at 2:52 PM on August 5, 2011 [11 favorites]


furiousxgeorge: " You are welcome to that perspective, from mine it goes like this:

A. If those nuns would just shut up and stop criticizing the pope we wouldn't be in this situation.
B. Why the hell are you blaming the nuns?
"

The difference between your counterfactual and reality is that A's comments are more moderate than "shut up, X" and B's characterization of those comments are more extreme than "blaming X."

Besides, the genesis of the phrase -- which everybody is getting from somewhere, this crap doesn't pop up all at once simultaneously -- is quite bitter and ugly. As Digby explains:
The term "punch a hippie" has been around for decades, although it's recently cropped up again on the right blogosphere. It's considered a pastime, fun, a sort of recreation for ignorant neanderthals. [...] It's one of those primitive, sadistic forms of wingnut entertainment like blowing up frogs or tying cats tails together and throwing them over a clothesline. [...]

Unfortunately, the Democratic political establishment, timorous and afraid of their own shadows as always, are petrified that Real Americans might make that same absurd connection [between hippies and liberals]. So nearly forty years on from the chaotic '72 Democratic convention, the left, whether Netroots or "Professional" are still seen as disruptive, scary hippies and it is assumed they are loathed by all decent people. Just like the idiotic right wingers, they conflate "the left" with that carefully nurtured anachronistic wingnut fantasy of the "smelly, dirty, hairy" leftist and are scared to death of being tarred by it. And it is why many in the left blogosphere defiantly took the moniker "DFH" which stands for Dirty Fucking Hippie.

The blogosphere's subsequent adoption of the term "hippie punching" is a shorthand to describe how Democrats like to debase the left in order to appeal to so-called Real Americans. It's a sort of proxy bullying, in which the Party attempts to prove their middle of the road bonafides by attacking what they believe Americans see as their out-of-the-mainstream fringe. (It's like a gang initiation where you have to beat up your childhood best friend to prove your loyalty to the new crowd.)
This backstory just makes the line even more repulsive. Maybe it had some relevancy describing triangulating cynics like Rahm Emanuel who were angrily denouncing lefty bloggers for political reasons. But that's not how it's being used on here. It's not just a knee-jerk rebuttal -- it aims to redefine honest criticism from other Mefites as some kind of dastardly betrayal akin to backstabbing or gay-bashing or racism. It says: "Who cares what you have to say? You just think we're dirty fucking hippies and want to beat us down! Well, go right ahead, you big bully!"

This is not cool. This isn't how we should be talking to each other. It's disingenuous and hostile and rude. IMHO, if you believe someone not of your political persuasion is unfairly blaming you and yours for trouble, there are better ways to express your objection than casting yourself as an assaulted stereotype in a loaded, violent metaphor (and then spam that metaphor over and over again dozens of times across multiple threads). It's disrespectful to the legitimate points other people are making.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:53 PM on August 5, 2011 [10 favorites]


I like Ironmouth's contributions to these threads and hope they continue. It's a contentious issue where the majority of posters feel one way and few voices dissenting, that's a recipe for a pileon and I think Ironmouth handles it quite well considering. I'd certainly rather that than yet another lolhivemind echochamber.
posted by Skorgu at 2:53 PM on August 5, 2011 [16 favorites]


What I don't understand is why Ironmouth—who claims to work for some unnamed Democratic-affiliated policy group in Washington—is allowed to use Metafilter as his own personal propaganda grounds, when he clearly has a personal involvement or stake of some kind in the events he discusses here but refuses to disclose the nature of that involvement or stake.
posted by enn at 2:54 PM on August 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


This is the sort of thing I am referring to, Brandon.

That comment applies just as much to people who didn't vote as it does to Nader voters or Pat Buchanan voters or anyone else.
posted by wildcrdj at 2:54 PM on August 5, 2011


I think Ironmouth's posting frequency also affects how many voices agree with him. I'd be likely to post more from a similar position if he wasn't already replying every few minutes. (not that I agree 100%, but I'm much closer to his position than a lot of the others in the thread).
posted by wildcrdj at 2:56 PM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


(also, if it harshes jessamyn's general lifebuzz it's probably not a good thing. That's just Science -- ask Bill Nye, he'll tell you straight.)
posted by Rhaomi at 3:02 PM on August 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


when he clearly has a personal involvement or stake of some kind in the events he discusses

This strikes me as a really weird comment to make.

These events feel pretty personal to me, too, and I am not involved in politics professionally. Who ISN'T personally involved in things that affect the entire populace?

And what good could his "propaganda" possibly do him professionally? He's one poster on a mostly-anonymous website.
posted by small_ruminant at 3:05 PM on August 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


why Ironmouth—who claims to work for some unnamed Democratic-affiliated policy group in Washington—is allowed to use Metafilter as his own personal propaganda grounds

How so? It's not like he's a mod or you're not allowed to comment in the same thread now is it?
posted by anigbrowl at 3:05 PM on August 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


What I don't understand is why Ironmouth—who claims to work for some unnamed Democratic-affiliated policy group in Washington—is allowed to use Metafilter as his own personal propaganda grounds, when he clearly has a personal involvement or stake of some kind in the events he discusses here but refuses to disclose the nature of that involvement or stake.

I myself was arguing with Ironmouth somewhere in the interminable middle of the interminable thread about the interminable debt ceiling, so feel free to dismiss this as special pleading. But this seems like a very important point that the mods should probably comment on.

My understanding of the way site policy has typically worked on issues such as this is that Ironmouth would be asked to refrain from participating in threads that specifically pertain to his employment. (If that's really where he works; as enn says, as far as I know this has only ever reached the level of "claims," and his story about ebullient Democratic insiders high-fiving always struck me as closer to fan fiction than reality.)

But then I disagree with Ironmouth just about every time I read him write anything about Obama, so perhaps my head just isn't clear on this. I dunno: how many commenters working for unnamed partisan policy groups in DC would be too many? It seems clear some sort of line needs to be drawn somewhere, if perhaps not yet.
posted by gerryblog at 3:05 PM on August 5, 2011


My understanding of the way site policy has typically worked on issues such as this is that Ironmouth would be asked to refrain from participating in threads that specifically pertain to his employment.

I have never heard this rule. I certainly don't stay away from threads about topics that I'm familiar with professionally.

Not to mention it would make AskMe a lot less useful.
posted by small_ruminant at 3:07 PM on August 5, 2011 [12 favorites]


I've never punched anyone. And I don't think I know any hippies. Can I stop hearing this stupid term now?

I'm tired of hearing how if I question a decision Obama makes, I'm actively working to help the Republican party. I've never helped any Republicans get elected and I don't think I ever will.

Can I stop hearing the kind of hippy punching that Ironmouth and Rhaomi fairly regularly push in these threads, now?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:09 PM on August 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


Ironmouth seems to have a very wide range of professional experiences and connections, they are a valuable part of his contributions to the threads and I don't think there is any ethical dilemma there since he is very honest about them.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:10 PM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have never heard this rule. I certainly don't stay away from threads about topics that I'm familiar with professionally.

I believe this has come up on the site before, but I can't find the link and can't remember the details. In any event we can clearly draw lines, can't we? Surely we don't an Apple employee dominating every Apple thread telling us how great Apples are, and Ford employees dominating every car thread telling us about the value of Fords...
posted by gerryblog at 3:12 PM on August 5, 2011


The big thing for me is just sheer commenting frequency and here-we-go-again feeling from the core folks who tend to show up for these. I don't want Ironmouth or furiousxgeorge or whoever else to stop commenting in a given thread they have something to say in, but there's more moderate ways to participate that mean being around but not becoming a dominating fixture in a thread or across multiple threads on one or another topic.

Generally speaking, if you're someone who comments a lot on a subject, these are a couple of things that would be really great for you to consider doing:

1. Ask yourself whether the line of argumentation you're about to get into, or about to keep running with, is one you've gone into before, and if so maybe just give it a pass and go do something else. Doubly so if it wasn't that long ago that you were last holding forth on that topic. Saying your piece is one thing, saying it over and over again or doing so in successive threads is another, and not so great.

2. Try to recognize if you have a pattern of reaction to specific people and try to short circuit that when you find yourself responding because That Person is being Wrong On The Internet again. Recurring arguments between the same pairs of people are interesting to just about no one else on the site. Take it to email, or just drop it, or mentally killfile that person if nothing else works, but please spare the vast majority of readers and potential participants in the thread from having to wade through that.

Folks who spend a lot of time here are by circumstance obviously going to comment more than folks who don't spend so much time, and that's natural and fine as far as it goes. But it's important that people remember that this place is a big community, that people who aren't commenting in any given thread by the dozens still want to be a voice in conversations, and that discussion here is a lot richer and stronger when those folks can be heard, and can feel like they have any chance of being heard, over the din of a handful of regulars going around the same block again and again and again.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:13 PM on August 5, 2011 [12 favorites]


gerryblog: "My understanding of the way site policy has typically worked on issues such as this is that Ironmouth would be asked to refrain from participating in threads that specifically pertain to his employment."

What? People participating in threads pertaining to their employment is pretty much a guarantee of a squillion favourites and a sidebar mention.

Unless the implication is that Ironmouth is doing some sort of weird astroturfing campaign for this shadowy Democrat org he may or may not be working for - that would be dodgy, but it really doesn't seem like that's what he's up to.
posted by jack_mo at 3:16 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


My understanding of the way site policy has typically worked on issues such as this is that Ironmouth would be asked to refrain from participating in threads that specifically pertain to his employment.

Really? I don't think this is a thing. People in all kinds of jobs frequently comment/answer questions about their professionals/areas of professional interest. For example, see Jessamyn and libraries!
posted by grapesaresour at 3:17 PM on August 5, 2011


Hoopo: "Oh man. I get to avoid that sort of criticism because I'm not American, but why does it have to be Nader voters of all people? How do the 40-60% of people who don't even bother to vote at all get off scott-free in all this?"

Without commenting on the merits of the position, it goes something like this: there are those who consider Nader essentially a tool of the GOP to bleed off votes that would otherwise go to Democrats (and from what I understand, he did in fact receive campaign contributions from GOP outfits in 2004). Some Nader voters looked at Gore and Bush in 2000 and felt there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between them, and so looked for a candidate that they felt reflected their ideology better, ie, Nader, despite what was expected to be a tight race and despite the fact that Nader wasn't going to win no matter what (ie, voting their conscience was throwing the election to Bush). In the 2000 election, Nader's vote count in Florida (the critical state) was considerably more than the difference between Gore and Bush, ie, if Gore had gotten a sizable number of those Nader votes, he would have won. In fact, I think the Communist Party candidate got more votes than the difference between Bush and Gore.

Non-voters don't influence the outcome of the election in a way you can point to quite so clearly.
posted by adamrice at 3:17 PM on August 5, 2011


My understanding of the way site policy has typically worked on issues such as this is that Ironmouth would be asked to refrain from participating in threads that specifically pertain to his employment.

Just to clarify, I'm talking specifically about someone who attempts to orient all discussion of the given topic around themselves, i.e., by posting 42/205 comments in a thread. Obviously people talking about things they know about is allowed.
posted by gerryblog at 3:18 PM on August 5, 2011


let's face it - the reason the "hippie punching" thing is so disturbing to people is that they don't like being reminded that their party has made a lot of shameful compromises and that some people, "hippies", actually dare to be a conscience about those things - and that they are regularly marginalized and maligned for doing so

there's no one more outraged than someone who knows there's a kernel of truth in an accusation
posted by pyramid termite at 3:21 PM on August 5, 2011 [16 favorites]


Can I stop hearing the kind of hippy punching that Ironmouth and Rhaomi fairly regularly push in these threads, now?

I really don't appreciate that at all (if my previous comments on the matter weren't already clear) and would be interested in knowing what I've ever said in any political thread that could be deemed as such, as I consider myself to be fairly low-key when it comes to talking with other people about this stuff. My participation in political threads has been called out exactly once -- in an explicitly positive way -- so I'm not really sure what you're talking about. Unless you consider any criticism of left-wing strategy on pragmatic grounds to be "hippy-punching," in which case I suggest you be a bit more precise when tossing around language that's intended to convey such contempt as described above.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:22 PM on August 5, 2011 [10 favorites]


My understanding of the way site policy has typically worked on issues such as this is that Ironmouth would be asked to refrain from participating in threads that specifically pertain to his employment.

Not so much anything about what someone's employment is/was, no. If someone is being really weirdly sketchy in some way that that has to do with their employment vs. their actions on the site, that's its own specifically problematic thing, but beyond that it's mostly a question of whether their behavior on the site is problematic in its own right.

Generally, commenting a ton on some subject every time it comes up is a problem regardless of whether it's a subject you have some professional interest in, because of the commenting-a-ton bit.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:24 PM on August 5, 2011


I like Ironmouth's posts. He doesn't seem any more fighty or shouty than anyone else in those threads. I like his stories about what unnamed sources are saying or doing, but I take them with the requisite grain of salt.

But then I disagree with Ironmouth just about every time I read him write anything about Obama, so perhaps my head just isn't clear on this. I dunno: how many commenters working for unnamed partisan policy groups in DC would be too many? It seems clear some sort of line needs to be drawn somewhere, if perhaps not yet.

It's pretty weird to think that he's doing anything inappropriate by being professionally interested in politics and then talking about politics on the internet under his own handle. Give me a call when he calls up an army of sock puppets or whatever, i.e. actually starts doing something unethical.

there's no one more outraged than someone who knows there's a kernel of truth in an accusation

Spoken like a true person-who-skins-a-llama-and-then-wears-the-skin-and-walks-around-a-llama-farm-as-a-hideous-memento-mori-to-the-llamas.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:24 PM on August 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


This thread needs to become everyone vs. Eideteker. Including me.

C'mon, I can take you! COME AT ME BRO

I WILL HUG AND POSSIBLY TICKLE YOU UNTIL YOU SUBMIT. WHO DARES?
posted by Eideteker at 3:25 PM on August 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


What I don't understand is why Ironmouth—who claims to work for some unnamed Democratic-affiliated policy group in Washington—is allowed to use Metafilter as his own personal propaganda grounds, when he clearly has a personal involvement or stake of some kind in the events he discusses here but refuses to disclose the nature of that involvement or stake.

Wuzza? I'm an employment lawyer, working primarily for civil service employees. I only work for myself. I don't know where you've got that.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:26 PM on August 5, 2011 [11 favorites]


We occasionally check to make sure that if there's some really strong/loud personality that is making claims about themselves that they are not totally lying and/or working for a company in which they receive some sort of specific financial sort of gain by commenting on this site and trying to influence people in a specific way. Just being someone who is passionate about a topic [and those passions may overlap your professional life] is not a problem. We don't think Ironmouth is in any sort of specific conflict in that way.

there's no one more outraged than someone who knows there's a kernel of truth in an accusation

You know, a little less accusing and a little more discussing would be just fine. I don't like the hippie punching thing because it's lazy, violent, and overused. I'm not ashamed of anything and it's not my party. If MeFi has taught me anything it's that there are more reasons to dislike something than I had probably previously thought. Telling people you can read their minds is generally considered bothersome.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:26 PM on August 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


In this post, Ironmouth explains how he once worked for a GOP-dominated firm that did astroturfing, for two months, back when he was a law student, several years in the past. I do not get the impression that this is in any way related to his current employment.

let's face it - the reason the "hippie punching" thing is so disturbing to people is that they don't like being reminded that their party has made a lot of shameful compromises and that some people, "hippies", actually dare to be a conscience about those things - and that they are regularly marginalized and maligned for doing so

what
posted by anigbrowl at 3:27 PM on August 5, 2011


Not so much anything about what someone's employment is/was, no. If someone is being really weirdly sketchy in some way that that has to do with their employment vs. their actions on the site, that's its own specifically problematic thing, but beyond that it's mostly a question of whether their behavior on the site is problematic in its own right.

Makes sense. Upon reflection I think it's possible I'm misremembering the lessons of the Scott Adams event, but rereading that thread you're pretty explicit that he could get into the mud with us as long as he's honest about who he is. But I feel as though that's not it and there's a parallel situation somewhere in the mists of time in which someone was told not to participate in threads about their job because they always went overboard with it. dios, maybe? It could be a complete fantasy.
posted by gerryblog at 3:28 PM on August 5, 2011


Wuzza? I'm an employment lawyer, working primarily for civil service employees. I only work for myself. I don't know where you've got that.

And then there's that!
posted by gerryblog at 3:29 PM on August 5, 2011


The difference between your counterfactual and reality is that A's comments are more moderate than "shut up, X" and B's characterization of those comments are more extreme than "blaming X."

The difference is in the middle. A's comments and B's characterization run across some variations in which one is the asshole and one is in the right.

A criticism of "they, the left" as hypocrites who change their arguments at will to attack Obama is objectively not the same as: Democrats shouldn't be leaving the party in protest; it would be more effective to put pressure on the relatively small hierarchy who are knowingly abetting the bad legislation.

You can feel free to suggest that, the punching pops up when you start assigning blame or negative motivations to a diverse group.

Now, all that aside, it's an extremely mild phrase akin to referring to a problem as like "whacking a mole". There is no actual whacking or moles, they are robot moles at worst and everyone who uses the phrase is fully aware of this.

We've had more meta-discussion on it than actual use of it in 3000 comments. It really does feel like this is making a mountain out of a hippy hole.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:30 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


That comment applies just as much to people who didn't vote as it does to Nader voters or Pat Buchanan voters or anyone else.

Okay, but directly or indirectly blaming any commenters for the deaths of 1.5 million innocent Iraqis is still way shittier and more violent rhetoric than idly throwing around a left-wing term of art like "hippie-punching". If I come across a better example, I will post it (though I am certain that I saw him make this accusation in multiple threads, specifically w/r/t Nader voters).

More broadly, I guess maybe this isn't common knowledge (?), but "hippie-punching" is a term with a particular political meaning that is used throughout the left-wing blogosphere, not just some nasty term that Mefites are using to be mean to each other. It refers to the idea that Democrats are often dismissive of the left in the hopes that it will make them look like serious moderates - not the idea that they literally hate hippies and wish violence upon them. Ironmouth in particular has been rather explicit about his outlook that election outcomes trump all other considerations, so just by the textbook definition, it is arguably a fair term of art to apply to his electoral outlook.
posted by dialetheia at 3:30 PM on August 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


just by the textbook definition, it is arguably a fair term of art to apply to his electoral outlook.

When you have large groups of people who are using different textbooks, your specific meaning can get lost or muddled. I think it's clear that a lot of people object to the term and, regardless of what Ironmouth does or does not do [and yes his comment about the Iraquis was shitty and NO ONE flagged it, so apologies but please use the tools we gave you!] it might be a good idea to wind down your use of that term since people do not seem to understand what you are meaning by it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:37 PM on August 5, 2011


It refers to the idea that Democrats are often dismissive of the left in the hopes that it will make them look like serious moderates - not the idea that they literally hate hippies and wish violence upon them. Ironmouth in particular has been rather explicit about his outlook that election outcomes trump all other considerations, so just by the textbook definition, it is arguably a fair term of art to apply to his electoral outlook.

No. The fact is that you don't see how you are straw manning me when you make statements like that. You are telling me that my reason for having issues with the strategy of getting mad at Obama is because I want to "look like a serious moderate." That isn't the case. I just want to not make bad tactical decisions.

And that's why the phrase is so bad. It assumes the motivation of the speaker is X. That is the classic straw man. Telling a person what they think and why. And that's not why I think that way. I can't speak for anyone else, but I do think I'm probably the best person to ask why I feel a particular way about something.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:37 PM on August 5, 2011 [10 favorites]


Unless you consider any criticism of left-wing strategy on pragmatic grounds to be "hippy-punching,"

I simply do not agree that this notion of "pragmatism" is an accurate characterization of the basis of comments by yourself and Ironmouth. And, for that matter, you two are not the only ones who do this.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:38 PM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Telling people you can read their minds is generally considered bothersome.

so is strawmanning

the fact remains that a significant part of the democratic establishment wishes the left would go away - this is not an outrageous or extraordinary claim

if you wish to misstate it as mind-reading when i remind people of this, it's not my credibility which will suffer from it
posted by pyramid termite at 3:41 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Unless you consider any criticism of left-wing strategy on pragmatic grounds to be "hippy-punching,"

Telling people you can read their minds is generally considered bothersome.

so is strawmanning

the fact remains that a significant part of the democratic establishment wishes the left would go away - this is not an outrageous or extraordinary claim

if you wish to misstate it as mind-reading when i remind people of this, it's not my credibility which will suffer from it


I'm talking about telling me why I am saying something. Don't tell me what my motivation is. That is a straw man. And if hippy-punching is this thing where people are trying to seem moderate for some reason or another, then I am not doing that.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:45 PM on August 5, 2011


You definitely strongly argue for a pragmatic political strategy that often suggests favoring a moderate path. You argue in favor of that strategy as opposed to a less moderate strategy. I don't think you do it to seem moderate, because you are clearly a solid liberal, but I definitely feel like the goal is to try and make the Democratic party as whole seem more moderate because that is the best way to earn votes and achieve liberal policy.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:51 PM on August 5, 2011


Don't tell me what my motivation is.

your motivation is to get people on the left to stop being critical of the president and his party - it is my belief that many do so because they are bothered by the critique and what it says about their compromised beliefs

you're probably too much of a professional to be bothered by something like that

but to the subject at hand - i don't mind your comments - they have good points and bad, but you make too many of them
posted by pyramid termite at 3:55 PM on August 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm tired of hearing how if I question a decision Obama makes, I'm actively working to help the Republican party. I've never helped any Republicans get elected and I don't think I ever will.

I'm tired of that too. I really hate 'hippy punching' though because I think it sounds stupid, regardless of what it means.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:56 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


A criticism of "they, the left" as hypocrites who change their arguments at will

that wasn't the criticism that was made. The criticism was that the left was inconsistent. Now you're saying that it was motivated by an accusation of hypocrisy, and that you feel hippie punched by that. But you are not a mind reader; you inferred that motivation to the comment, and then claimed offense for a motivation that exists largely in your own mind.

If you are not doing this deliberately, then it's indicative of woefully sloppy thinking. Just like above, with the analogy of 'chokeslamming nuns', you replaced the generic 'Catholics' in proposition A with 'Nuns', turning the analogy on its head. As proposed by Rhaomi, it suggested that responding to a generic remark about Catholics with an overzealous defense of nuns was inappropriate. As reworked by you, it was transformed into an explicit attack on nuns from the outset.
posted by anigbrowl at 3:57 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ironmouth, you're a consistent source of unintended self-important lulz, and for that, I generally deeply thank you. But your jets would no doubt carry you further (and, yes, I mean further, not farther, as, although it doesn't fit the metaphor, it exactly fits this Meta-metaphor, since everything posted to a Web site is necessarily metaphysical, at the first cut) around here, if you cooled them a lot more. Like way down to deeply-air-conditioned-August-empty-Washington temperature. However, if you find no hint of temperance in yourself (and I've got 3 figures at long odds that you won't), flame on, you bright candle of impossible contradictions, you.

Back here in the peanut gallery, you're an entertainment legend, you lovable link-phobic, opinionated, easily triggered Internet personality, you.
posted by paulsc at 3:59 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


You definitely strongly argue for a pragmatic political strategy that often suggests favoring a moderate path. You argue in favor of that strategy as opposed to a less moderate strategy. I don't think you do it to seem moderate, because you are clearly a solid liberal, but I definitely feel like the goal is to try and make the Democratic party as whole seem more moderate because that is the best way to earn votes and achieve liberal policy.

The key is to not tell me what I'm thinking or what my goals are. My words should be enough for that. I'm just saying we ought to not fight battles that we don't have the ammo to win. Gimme the ammo and we'll win.

your motivation is to get people on the left to stop being critical of the president and his party - it is my belief that many do so because they are bothered by the critique and what it says about their compromised beliefs


Here's the thing. That is not my motivation. Again, don't assume you know. All I'm saying is that unless the circumstances allow for actual change to come from the criticism, i.e. we already have enough votes to pass the policy but the President won't do it, then it is not in the Dems tactical interest to do that.

Only place I think we majorly differ is on Afghanistan.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:59 PM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Back here in the peanut gallery, you're an entertainment legend, you lovable link-phobic, opinionated, easily triggered Internet personality, you.

I do take exception at link-phobic. I have a long, long, long posting history here at the site. And I like to back up my positions. Now lately, things have been mile a minute, especially with the negotiations on the debt ceiling.

But the other think is the type of link I use. I use factual links. In otherwords a description of something from a source. I try not to link to "X agrees with me" because it doesn't add to the conversation.
posted by Ironmouth at 4:01 PM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


So, you're OK with "easily triggered?"
posted by paulsc at 4:03 PM on August 5, 2011


it might be a good idea to wind down your use of that term since people do not seem to understand what you are meaning by it.

I do take your point (and FWIW I have never used that term here, though I will continue to defend those who do because it is a useful term that describes a particular strategy that is still used by the Democratic party), but respectfully, the community seems to take the complete opposite tack on other kinds of jargon, e.g. the feminist blogosphere/academic community; Mefi community standards seem to play out such that if you don't already know that the word sexism applies only to situations with power imbalances, or exactly what the term rape culture means, people are free to upbraid you for not already knowing these terms of art (see: the frequent "do we always have to do feminism 101?! ughhh" comments). Why should this particular term be treated differently? That really feels like overly strict moderation to me, if we are getting to that point.

Here is a nice blog post by Digby about the history of the term "hippie-punching" and its specific meaning, if anyone is interested (I think this was linked somewhere in the Endgame thread too).

I'm tired of hearing how if I question a decision Obama makes, I'm actively working to help the Republican party. I've never helped any Republicans get elected and I don't think I ever will.

100% agreed! I just wish every single thread about Obama didn't turn into an Ironmouth-moderated referendum on whether or not our discussion is helping Democrats get elected, or whether our criticisms are in what he considers our tactical best interest. It is almost always a huge derail and I was thrilled to see some mod pushback on that in this most recent thread. Thanks very much for that!
posted by dialetheia at 4:03 PM on August 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


that wasn't the criticism that was made. The criticism was that the left was inconsistent. Now you're saying that it was motivated by an accusation of hypocrisy, and that you feel hippie punched by that.

Inconsistant or hypocritical doesn't really matter, as the primary flaw is launching the charge at "they, the left" because if you treat them as individuals the criticism kind of falls apart. Maybe Greenwald did contradict himself, I don't really follow him outside of the civil rights and war issues. But in that case, the criticism should not be made at the general "the left".

As for mind reading, I don't consider myself hippy punched in that thread outside of the fact that my opinion (which is represented in neither one of the criticized positions really) was grouped in with "the left".
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:03 PM on August 5, 2011


maybe we can get a little sign next to ironmouths name that shows he's an expert on obama and if youre standing there trembling in the voting booth you can mail him or something.

jack_mo is astrofurfing for tranmere rovers.

there, i said it.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:03 PM on August 5, 2011


If you are not doing this deliberately, then it's indicative of woefully sloppy thinking. Just like above, with the analogy of 'chokeslamming nuns', you replaced the generic 'Catholics' in proposition A with 'Nuns', turning the analogy on its head. As proposed by Rhaomi, it suggested that responding to a generic remark about Catholics with an overzealous defense of nuns was inappropriate. As reworked by you, it was transformed into an explicit attack on nuns from the outset

I transformed it into how I use the phrase rather than how it was characterized.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:04 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I really hate 'hippy punching' though because I think it sounds stupid, regardless of what it means.

I prefer use of the correct term 'hippy punching' because, regardless of how it sounds, it is a succinct and accurate depiction of how progressives are treated by the so-called Left in the United States. I like words to mean things, and 'hippy punching' is a very meaningful term, especially given how some people act on this site when the Obama administration's policies get any meager criticism.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:05 PM on August 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't like 'hippy punching' in this context because it implies, however indirectly, that those who criticize Obama from the left are hippys. But there are plenty of people who criticizes people from the left who aren't hippys. I'm not a great fan of hippys, insofar as they actually exist and I'm not just irritated at a word that to me carries around a lot of irrelevant or stereotypical baggage. But I'm happy to criticize Obama from the left, and to listen to criticisms of Obama from the left.
posted by Kwine at 4:05 PM on August 5, 2011


Here's the thing. That is not my motivation.

here's the thing - i'm pretty much summing up several comments you have made in the last week, hell, today, and i could cut and paste them here to prove my point

but i can't be bothered - you have said the left should stop criticizing the president, period

own your words
posted by pyramid termite at 4:07 PM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


So you're MAD about something on the Internet...
posted by homunculus at 4:08 PM on August 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


You know, Ironmouth, this would be a good time to acknowledge that you've actually heard the mods' statement that they'd prefer you to dial back the frequency of your comments in political threads.

You did see that part, right? Is that something you understand, and are willing to work on? Or not?
posted by mediareport at 4:08 PM on August 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


Kwine, the fact that the hippies are imaginary is kind of the point. You take your blame and shift it to an imaginary stereotype. A great example was the Grover Norquist/HillaryIs44/Tea Party conspiracy stuff. It went entirely in the opposite direction from hippy, but it's the same process.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:08 PM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Anyway, this thread really should not have been derailed with a referendum on whether the term 'hippy punching' is acceptable or not. This part of the American English vernacular has been around for a while and is much larger than the narrow goings-ons at Metafilter.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:14 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


respectfully, the community seems to take the complete opposite tack on other kinds of jargon, e.g. the feminist blogosphere/academic community; Mefi community standards seem to play out such that if you don't already know that the word sexism applies only to situations with power imbalances, or exactly what the term rape culture means, people are free to upbraid you for not already knowing these terms of art

Totally agreed, there's a weird fuzzy line between what terms the community seems to know and understand and which ones are constantly debated or open questions. I think the sexism parallel is a really good one because its' the same word that can be used in the same sentenece by two different people who may mean something different from it depending on their background and, this is the key part, not even know the other person is using it differently. It's sort of maddening actually and makes for spirited MeTa discussions.

But I think in those cases people have open discussions about the use of those terms on the site and people explain what they mean and how they mean it and even if there's no useful disambiguation for future reference, people are at least a lot more clear that the use of the term is comfusing or otherwise problematic. So I think that's mostly what we've accomplished with it here as well.

And really, at some level, I blame the artificial two-party construct in this country for a lot of the weird ill will that's happening because there are only so many strategies you can employ to try to get Your Guy in pole position to do some good and a lot of people are tired and desperate and pretty damned sick of what's been happening. So I get where peoples' frustration comes from, but focusing it like a laser beam ayt users' unpopular opinions isn't actually going to help make the world safe for Democracy or whoever your chosen candidate is. Sometimes I think the internet is the replacement-tv as far as being a mass-opiate where people think they're effecting real change by chewing each other out. Not that minds can't be changed by having good conversations, but there are a whole lot of variables and a whole lot of more effective ways to do that sort of thing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:17 PM on August 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


I don't understand. Walk me through it like I've just been concussed. Referring to criticism of criticism of Obama from the left as 'hippy punching' helps you accomplish X in discussions on Metafilter.

On preview, or not, I guess. No skin off my back.
posted by Kwine at 4:20 PM on August 5, 2011


Inconsistant or hypocritical doesn't really matter, as the primary flaw is launching the charge at "they, the left" because if you treat them as individuals the criticism kind of falls apart. Maybe Greenwald did contradict himself, I don't really follow him outside of the civil rights and war issues. But in that case, the criticism should not be made at the general "the left".

Yes it does matter, because using generalities is a normal part of conversation, and the term 'hippy punching' imputes aggression and bad faith to one party in that conversation. Now you're saying that even if Greenwald did contradict himself, he's not the whole left; that's a fair enough objection, but the way to make it is to say 'don't lump me in with the inconsistent Greenwald guy', not to start in with accusations of hippy punching. Last time I looked, 'the left' did not consist entirely of hippies.

As for mind reading, I don't consider myself hippy punched in that thread outside of the fact that my opinion (which is represented in neither one of the criticized positions really) was grouped in with "the left".

Where? Ironmouth's comment about inconsistency on the left wasn't directed at you, addressed to you, or responsive to you.

How do I know this?/ Because you hadn't made any comments in the thread when he made his. Your first contribution to the thread was 'Starting the hippy punching early this thread, eh?' So saying that you were offended because your opinion 'was grouped in with 'the left'' is complete bullshit.
posted by anigbrowl at 4:21 PM on August 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


I dont think the Ironmouth vs everyone mod comment was appropriate or warranted. I'm disappointed in restless_nomad's moderation here. Ironmouth expressed opinions which I share and expressed them in a respectful manner IMO. I'm sick of the "punch a hippie" accusation that certan members seem to throw around as if it somehow makes their arguments stronger. If the mods feel the need to shut anything down they should go after that bullshit.
posted by humanfont at 4:24 PM on August 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


Anigbrowl, it doesn't matter as I regard the accusations aimed at a broad group as similarly distasteful no matter if the accusation is inconsistency or hypocrisy.

I am part of "the left" regardless of any comments I had yet to make in the thread.

I do not do the things he said or hold the positions he claims. In fact, I'm damn sure practically no one does. Did anyone dig up the Greenwald quotes to support the accusations? Or is that my responsibility as a member of the guilt by association group to make sure it applies to nobody in the group?

-
humanfont you posted by a wide margin the most shitty and offensive comment in that thread, so please don't start.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:27 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


> I transformed it into how I use the phrase rather than how it was characterized.

And while doing so, you also switched the term 'Catholic' for 'Nun'. This fundamentally alters the nature of the exchange, and I rather doubt that you consider the two terms to be synonymous.
posted by anigbrowl at 4:31 PM on August 5, 2011


I fundamentally altered the exchange to be closer to what I consider the reality of how these situations typically play out. I consider it a more accurate metaphor than the one presented. This is from my perspective, and as I said it doesn't always go that way.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:42 PM on August 5, 2011


Pray he doesn't fundamentally alter the exchange further.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:43 PM on August 5, 2011 [12 favorites]


I prefer use of the correct term 'hippy punching' because, regardless of how it sounds, it is a succinct and accurate depiction of how progressives are treated by the so-called Left in the United States.

My other issue with it is that it is, in my estimation, sometimes used in the place of an argument, as though it's shorthand for some kind of substantive bit of reasoning rather than a complaint or description of circumstances. Like:

A: Voting for Nader cost Gore the election, therefore voting 3rd-party is bad.
B: Hippy punching!

(Note: I use this as an example of dialogue, I'm not endorsing anything within the example) While B may be correctly deploying this bit of language, s/he isn't actually answering the contention made by A. I don't think I'd call it ad hominem, but it's similar-- it serves to characterize A's argument as bad without explaining why.
posted by shakespeherian at 4:47 PM on August 5, 2011


Anigbrowl, it doesn't matter as I regard the accusations aimed at a broad group as similarly distasteful no matter if the accusation is inconsistency or hypocrisy.

So if you think a group of people is wrong about something, it's distasteful to say so? Allow me to guide you to our fainting couch, I had no idea your sensibilities were so delicate.

I am part of "the left" regardless of any comments I had yet to make in the thread.

It appears like you're asking people to construct their comments in accordance with the possibility that you might show up and might identify with any groups that are being discussed in a critical fashion. This might explain your other comment in which you complained that Iron mouth was attacking the 'damn dirty hippies', a characterization that nobody had made or even hinted at. You brought the whole 'hippy' thing in with you and now you're saying that other people are just so mean for making remarks that suggest an entire group of people might have an inconsistent or incoherent political position.
posted by anigbrowl at 4:50 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nader.

That's hippy punching because you are blaming Nader voters (hippies) for something that was not their fault. The Democrats and Republicans who voted for Bush are the people who deserve the blame. It's helpful as a shorthand to having to type out what I just typed out for the 1000th time and the other side replying to it for the 1000th time. If it's just going to be a recurring meta-discussion instead....

Pray he doesn't fundamentally alter the exchange further.

I'll just call it "Jedi Punching" from now on. They take a lot of unfair blame for the fall of the Republic. The Galactic Senate process was deadlocked and impossible to manage.

So if you think a group of people is wrong about something, it's distasteful to say so? Allow me to guide you to our fainting couch, I had no idea your sensibilities were so delicate.

When the accusations are objectively inaccurate, yeah, it's a problem.

It appears like you're asking people to construct their comments in accordance with the possibility that you might show up

Like 99% of this site is a part of "the left", it's not a helpful label to toss accusations at.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:53 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Now you're saying that even if Greenwald did contradict himself

Please, it's not like anyone put up a meaningful critique of Greenwald's post anywhere in that thread. Just a bunch of crude insults in place of intelligence. Someone claimed he was insane, someone else noted his "fucking self-righteous over heated feverish ego," and someone else remembered him "tossing a fit." That is the entire extent of Greenwald criticism in that thread. Stay classy, Metafilter.
posted by mek at 4:53 PM on August 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


agreed, an aire of mendacious film tends to build.
posted by clavdivs at 4:54 PM on August 5, 2011


Blazecock Pileon: " I prefer use of the correct term 'hippy punching' because, regardless of how it sounds, it is a succinct and accurate depiction of how progressives are treated by the so-called Left in the United States. I like words to mean things, and 'hippy punching' is a very meaningful term, especially given how some people act on this site when the Obama administration's policies get any meager criticism."

It's meaningfulness is irrelevant if it's not being used appropriately, and it's not in many if not most cases here. It's intended to be a criticism of Democratic establishment bigwigs like Emanuel or Gibbs who publicly repudiate left-wing activists as a play for the sympathies of centrists and right-leaners. It implies a cynical, bad-faith calculation, a betrayal of would-be friends for political gain. See the whole "beating up your best friend to get in good with the street gang" metaphor.

What use does that have applied to people shooting the shit on Mefi? We're not pundits. We're not on TV. We're not devising strategy on a national level. We're just discussing current events with other smart, generally like-minded people for the sake of stimulating conversation (and a little commiseration).

Hence the chafing. Somebody offers an earnest criticism of progressive grar, saying their "never again, Obama" anger is unfair or misplaced or counter-productive for reasons X, Y, and Z. You can disagree with that argument, fine, we're all adults here. But it's one thing to disagree and quite another to deploy a phrase explicitly crafted to say "you're a cynical douchebag who's bullying us for craven reasons" in a highly blunt and accusatory way. It puts slander in other people's mouths with the implied "Dirty Fucking Hippies" smear that it purports to be responding to, and attributes malicious, disingenuous, Machiavellian intent to people who are simply focusing more on process and who just don't believe that a totally uncompromising hard-line stance is the most effective way to get things done in the Great Sausage Factory.

If somebody drops by in a thread and say, "Shut up and go hug a tree, you smelly fucking hippies, you disgust me and you're a danger to the cause," then by all means, shut them down, they deserve it. But I haven't seen anybody talking remotely like that. In the meantime, it's insulting to have good-faith discussion branded as if it were that kind of bullying over and over again in every political thread.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:02 PM on August 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


There's no law of metafilter that says that you have to respond to everything. If you find typing out a thoughtful response to be such trouble that you feel that you must resort to inflammatory shorthand, perhaps you can just read for a while instead of actively participating?

True fact: Less than 50% of the comments that I type into the comment box get posted, because I read them over and think some variation of 'This doesn't add any value'
posted by Kwine at 5:03 PM on August 5, 2011 [16 favorites]


We're not on TV.

Wait, what? Cortex said we were and I'd have to put this makeup on whenever I'm at the computer, what the hell?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:05 PM on August 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm not going to engage the derail further. If you don't like the term being used to describe the condescending way in which you treat progressives here, don't hippy-punch. You know who you are.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:05 PM on August 5, 2011


I think it's just my own mounting inability to deal with the endless reams of contentious bullshit that can spill out of this otherwise awesome site at its worst, but I finally understand all those people who are forever praising the mods for their patience. Working the weekend mod shift would be like pulling bouncer duty at Jesse Pinkman's party house. As you were, but Christ on a bike, there are better ways to spend your Friday night, for real.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:05 PM on August 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


Friday night with someone named 'kittens for breakfast' could be interesting. Or arresting.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:09 PM on August 5, 2011


I fundamentally altered the exchange to be closer to what I consider the reality of how these situations typically play out.

Well, if you fundamentally the initial premise you can say anything you like about how situations typically play out. If down was up then whenever I dropped something I could just look for it on the ceiling, couldn't I?

When the accusations are objectively inaccurate, yeah, it's a problem.

But then the appropriate target of your criticism would have been the FPP itself, not the criticism of the inconsistency asserted therein. And this still doesn't explain why you decided you had to bring hippy punching into the discussion as your opening contribution.
posted by anigbrowl at 5:10 PM on August 5, 2011


BP, I don't think I've participated much in political threads for a while, and certainly not in any way that anyone could interpret as hippy punching. So I'm not sure what you are referring to.

In any case, more on topic, I think that when you get to the point where you're using shorthandto stand in for chunks of arguments you've had with the same users already, you may be better off skipping it and ignoring that person.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:11 PM on August 5, 2011


The real question is, how many 5 year olds could Ironmouth take on in a fight?
posted by desjardins at 5:13 PM on August 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


Sometimes I think the internet is the replacement-tv as far as being a mass-opiate where people think they're effecting real change by chewing each other out. Not that minds can't be changed by having good conversations, but there are a whole lot of variables and a whole lot of more effective ways to do that sort of thing.

Amen, sister. I've been feeling gut-punched politically since 2010 and haven't done diddly squat in the real world since then. I need to get back out into the neighborhood. We all do.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:14 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


humanfont you posted by a wide margin the most shitty and offensive comment in that thread, so please don't start.

My comment was totally in bounds and I'm pretty upset it was deleted. My view is that you and Greenwald are trying to lynch Obama. I think this is a valid view and there is no reason for the mods to censor it. Seriously wtf some members can try to shout down others as hippie punchers and that's a valid POV, but my comment gets deleted?
posted by humanfont at 5:16 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, if you fundamentally the initial premise you can say anything you like about how situations typically play out. If down was up then whenever I dropped something I could just look for it on the ceiling, couldn't I?

Anigbrowl, the accuracy of both metaphors is measured against reality (make your own call), not which came first.

But then the appropriate target of your criticism would have been the FPP itself

That sounds like more of a Meta thing, but yeah I found it a shitty FPP. A new thread for the topic may have been needed (it wasn't, should have just closed the other one and let this rest a bit) but that was terrible framing.

There's no law of metafilter that says that you have to respond to everything. If you find typing out a thoughtful response to be such trouble that you feel that you must resort to inflammatory shorthand, perhaps you can just read for a while instead of actively participating?

It never struck me as inflammatory until recently when 7 comments out of 3000 were revealed as a dangerous trend. Ironic 'playing the victim' is part of the complaint about it.

What use does that have applied to people shooting the shit on Mefi? We're not pundits. We're not on TV. We're not devising strategy on a national level. We're just discussing current events with other smart, generally like-minded people for the sake of stimulating conversation (and a little commiseration).


We are discussing, in some cases, the best path for national strategy.

It implies a cynical, bad-faith calculation, a betrayal of would-be friends for political gain.


And the person I leveled the accusation at later suggested the best strategy involved, for example, lying to opinion pollsters to achieve your political goals.

If someone is in favor of lying about their opinions if they feel it will convince others...how can I know they aren't doing it in their conversations with me?

This issue is not a black and white "always okay" or "always wrong" (unless you do find the "violent" part of it to be too much.)
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:17 PM on August 5, 2011


My view is that you and Greenwald are trying to lynch Obama. I think this is a valid view and there is no reason for the mods to censor it.

I'm sorry but that is just way beyond the pale. Despicable.
posted by mek at 5:19 PM on August 5, 2011 [19 favorites]


Anigbrowl, the accuracy of both metaphors is measured against reality (make your own call), not which came first.

No furiousxgeorge, it very much does matter which came first because you're claiming your post was in response to a provocation.
posted by anigbrowl at 5:27 PM on August 5, 2011


I voted for Nader and I am proud of it. I voted out of conscience. We did not get Bush because people like me voted for Nader. We got Bush because the Democrats failed to live up to enough Progressive ideals to get people like me to vote for them. I'm throwing that in because I'm tired of being *****-punched. Stop the wars. Make jobs. Then you'll get my vote next election.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 5:29 PM on August 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


there is no reason for the mods to censor it.

Your comment was very short but included lynching Obama, the hippie-punching and some ham-fisted metaphor talking about raping the constitution, after we'd left several notes in the thread for people to dial it back. That's not one reason, it's four. If you want me to copy your whole comment here I'd be happy to but I really think it's better to just leave this one alone.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:33 PM on August 5, 2011 [14 favorites]


No furiousxgeorge, it very much does matter which came first because you're claiming your post was in response to a provocation.

What? We are talking about the dueling church metaphors, right? There was no claimed provocation there.

As an aside, I would be interested to know why you consider humanfont's suggestion that I want to lynch the President as worthy of a favorite though. It seems there is a wide difference between racial lyncgh mob executions and punching someone. However, we do seem slightly off the same page as far as our metaphors today.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:36 PM on August 5, 2011


It never struck me as inflammatory until recently when 7 comments out of 3000 were revealed as a dangerous trend.

Several of us have reported that it seems inflammatory. I have noticed it recently without saying anything about it; I'm sure there are more in that category. I'm not a great fan of the armchair lexical analysis either but don't think that I need to endorse it to register a complaint about the use of the term in question. I've been a big fan of Metafilter political threads for a while now. I appreciate that you stuck around to talk about my concern, rather than sticking your fingers in your ears like some of the parties in this conversation, and generally appreciate when everyone tries to say valuable things in as friendly a manner as possible. In the spirit of that, I don't know what humanfront is doing, but I wish he or she'd stop.
posted by Kwine at 6:02 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


0 new comments, show

that is a new one. anyone ever get that in the new comments box?
posted by clavdivs at 6:12 PM on August 5, 2011


Seen it before, assumed it meant there was a deletion.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:13 PM on August 5, 2011


There was a comment deletion.
posted by lalex at 6:17 PM on August 5, 2011


good deduction. Have a good day? mine kinda sucked, odd I got a haircut yesterday, place called Magoos, 10$ not to bad.
posted by clavdivs at 6:18 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pretty good, passed a lot of time at work arguing on the internet and now I have the drama of the downgrade to carry me through dinner.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:19 PM on August 5, 2011


I spent the last three days helping my dad frame out a deck in his backyard, so I mostly spent today enjoying not having to move and regretting the moments where I chose to move anyway.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:30 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I quit my job, after wanting to for the last two years.

Then I found out that if I hadn't quit my job, I would have gotten a promotion. D'oh!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:31 PM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I left Texas. Even though I enjoyed the creepily hot weather, it's nice to be back home.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:31 PM on August 5, 2011


I say we put 'em both in a box and shake it until they fight each other!

Man, this popcorn sucks.
posted by loquacious at 6:43 PM on August 5, 2011


I've been out hugging trees.
posted by Sailormom at 7:02 PM on August 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'm glad Ironmouth takes the time to respond. He'll state a valid if controversial argument and get a dozen lazy, sophomoric potshots in return. Maybe he should space it out more and state the summarized argument, but now we're micromanaging style.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 7:12 PM on August 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


Huh. got the buzz cut to find more work as I am contemplating moving and Texas is one of the three options. I lost a twenty. I never lose money.
posted by clavdivs at 7:28 PM on August 5, 2011


now we're micromanaging style

Asking somebody to dial back their frequent posting when they have made 20% of the comments in a thread (42/205) hardly seems like micromanaging style.
posted by dialetheia at 7:32 PM on August 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm a dirty hippie and I shower. Sometimes twice a day.
posted by Apropos of Something at 7:51 PM on August 5, 2011


Maybe he should space it out more and state the summarized argument, but now we're micromanaging style.

The "taking on all comers" thing is kind of like trying to argue with an angry mob on the street with no megaphone. You are going to get drowned out, you can't keep track of who is shouting what, and no matter how right you are you are never going to convince the mob to back down. Most of the blame for the situation probably rests on the mob, but when the police come it will be easier to get you out of there instead of them.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:53 PM on August 5, 2011


All this talk of Hippy Punching makes me think of this album cover.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:18 PM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Furiousxgeorge, so you are saying that you are part of an angry mob, but not a lynch mob?
posted by humanfont at 8:26 PM on August 5, 2011


I've tangled at length with Ironmouth in a few political threads, and I've learned enough now to usually drop a mere single comment or two when this thing comes up. But I think it's safe to say that members' policy opinions aren't the major fracturing point in these arguments, it's what you believe elected officials should accomplish.

Some people (I don't want to guess at motivations, but I know it's true of myself, and I'm pretty sure it's true of furiousxgeorge) believe that national politicians can wield influence other than merely their votes, which can effect external changes.

Ironmouth speaks of it more as a transactional thing: the only instant that matters is when the votes are all tallied, and it's not worth discussing anything else. I don't claim to know his thought process, I'm just going based on his statements. The only metric that ever matters is votes: votes that were cast in the last election, and votes cast on each particular bill. Consequently, everything is black and white. Does a single Republican disagree with something? Abandon that idea, because you do not have the votes. Disagree with the push toward deficit reduction over the 8 months? Who cares, because many Tea Party candidates were elected in the midterm election, and they talked about how spending was a problem, therefore this is what the nation wants. And if you disagree, you don't have votes, so it's irrelevant.

On the other hand, I've watched before my very eyes as politicians (and media personalities, for that matter) use their positions of influence to change what is possible. At the very end of 2010, there were not enough votes to cover medical care for 9/11 emergency responders. Various people grumbled about this for some time, and it was seen as just kind of a done deal: This sucks, but Republicans won't vote for it, so, meh, oh well. Then Jon Stewart spent 22 minutes one night on his show on fucking basic cable, raising a stink about it, which then garnered 24 hour news coverage over the next couple of days, and what do you know? They found enough Republican votes for it. But it's not like Stewart went out and shook several Republicans by the shoulders until they agreed to vote. He stated a case in a forceful and convincing enough manner that public attention and outrage snowballed until the dissenters no longer could disagree. And Stewart's a good speaker, but not great, and he has a limited audience. Obama can be on every channel anytime he feels like it, he's a great orator when his remarks aren't impromptu, and we've WATCHED him change an entire conversation before, in his presidential campaign that people still talk about pretty often. (Anybody remember Bush's campaign slogans and posters from 2004? Did anybody get the impression like "wow, I really think Kerry is going to come into the White House and really change the way things work around here"?)

People like me look at the debt ceiling negotiations and know that, in the exact political climate in which we find ourselves at this instant, that's in the better half of possible deals. Okay. But we don't think the President was powerless in all of the events leading up to this instant, either. We've watched as Obama adopted the Republican framing of the economic crisis, ignoring all the economists who say that unemployment is the biggest problem we face and instead saying "yes, all of the shrill sloganeering by the Republicans is absolutely correct. What we need to do right now is cut the deficit dramatically. [literally no mention of any progressive options, at all, not even as something on a wish list. totally surrendered the word "stimulus" as unusable after failing to defend the actually successful stimulus package that he passed and then let Republicans badmouth for years]" If he, and Democrats in general, had been putting up a decent fucking fight over the deficit meme for the past several years, saying "the government is not a household and its budget works differently," hell maybe even putting a spin on it and saying "Republicans say the government could use the direction of a good business, and every great businessman knows the value of investments. We need to invest in American jobs, infrastructure, and education, and the money that we spend now will be multiplied," or fucking whatever, instead of losing every economic messaging war and then arriving in the summer of 2011, agreeing with the Republican framing of the problems with the economy and then going "gee, we don't have votes for more stimulus! oh well!" We don't think in terms of immediately available votes, we think of the votes that COULD be, if Democrats weren't too timid to speak forcefully and didn't let Republicans dictate the conversation. We don't read public opinion by interpreting the results of the 2010 midterms, we look at the large majorities of people now who want higher taxes for the rich and no cuts to social safety programs, and imagine "hey, what if some Democrat could actually reach out and connect with those people who are hurting right now and who even agree with what we want to accomplish, even though they voted for a Republican in 2010? Who they now disapprove of?" We see huge pro-labor rallies in Wisconsin and tiny present-day Tea Party rallies. etc.

Ironmouth never responds when anyone asks if he believes that Obama can ever CHANGE the tally of Possible Votes, by words or actions, so I assume he thinks that what is Possible is just some platonic ideal and you must make sure you are on the non-losing side of it. Because as he explained in the thread this MeTa refers to, Obama should never advocate for something that doesn't Have The Votes, because then he would look like a loser and people don't want to vote for someone who looks like a loser. It's like a weird paralysis by someone's prognostication of how an eventual vote will go, without ever bothering to try to change it.

So, there's no way for the conversation to proceed, because Ironmouth and posters like me are coming from completely different perspectives. I say, "hey, imagine what we could have accomplished with health care reform if we had started from a strong negotiating position and if Obama had forcefully promoted strong progressive ideas to the public directly instead of going radio silent all summer and most of the fall and allowing the Republicans to characterize his program as a socialist replacement of capitalism with death panels?" The response is "name the people who would have voted for it." This is literally an exchange that I had with Ironmouth one time. I can't produce a list of such names, because it would require looking into some alternate reality that didn't happen. But if I don't respond, it implies that I concede Ironmouth's correctness because I could not meet his nonsensical demand, so obviously I respond because it's the Internet and this is how threads get to be 3,000 comments long and still go nowhere.

I think this is the fundamental disconnect - it's like that much-discussed difference between askers and takers, or whatever those two categories are. We're just thinking in incompatible patterns, despite our seemingly similar doctrinal views and goals. The initial disagreement then gets inflamed by subsequent actions - as we've seen in this thread, a lot of people take offense to references to "hippie punching"; others of us take offense to being called secret Republican trolls or astroturfers simply because we are disappointed with what's taken place; I'm at least personally confused by Ironmouth's constant demands that progressives shut up because we don't have the votes, even though a lot of progressives are talking because thwey are trying to raise public awareness so that we can get votes. (BTW: Ironmouth if you're reading, please stop acting shocked whenever someone you disagree with mentions that they call their congresspeople, or vote. It's condescending, and pretty silly) But that initial kernel of disagreement, as I interpret it, is a difference that isn't going to be resolved by any amount of argumentation.

So yeah, I think the initial mod request was appropriate. The same bullshit is going to come up again, and you're going to hear the same things from the same people. So moving forward, maybe we can just hope that some of us regulars can have the presence of mind to back off some, take the back-and-forth more to MeMail (if anywhere), and let the thread breathe a little bit.
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 8:32 PM on August 5, 2011 [33 favorites]


No, as always I am the calm and polite voice of reason and understanding in these troubled threads.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:33 PM on August 5, 2011


I've been out hugging trees.

branch-tease.
posted by palomar at 8:34 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


plain barky if you ask me.
posted by clavdivs at 8:43 PM on August 5, 2011


I dont think the Ironmouth vs everyone mod comment was appropriate or warranted. I'm disappointed in restless_nomad's moderation here.

I absolutely agree with this.

I find Ironmouth's comments pretty useful and well-argued, even when I disagree with them frequently. But 42/205 comments is a lot. I'd probably be looking for something else to do long before that time, not because I tired of participating necessarily, but because I think it can irritate people when someone won't shut up about their point of view, and this is bad for persuading others to that point of view in the long run.
posted by grouse at 9:22 PM on August 5, 2011


But 42/205 comments is a lot.

At the point at which r_n made her comment Ironmouth had made 18 of the 78-ish comments in the thread. Several people had made comments taking digs at Ironmouth which we removed. It's possible a "hey, maybe don't turn this into one person against everyone" more general sort of comment would have sufficed but it was very clearly one commenter making 25% of the comments in that thread who, after that mod request, made 24 more comments, staying at about a 25% level for the entire thread.

I agree that Ironmouth makes great contributions sometimes, but the "take on all comers" thing is a method of interaction that does not scale, period. People need to be aware that they share this site with everyone else and if they're not doing so great at self-regulating, sometimes we'll step in and try to head things off. It's sort of a pain to do and not something we like doing particularly but if it lets the thread become something that's more than the usual suspects getting incresingly hostile to one another, we usually find that it's worth it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:41 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, as always I am the calm and polite voice of reason and understanding in these troubled threads.

I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or ironic, but you're not. I've had to close threads and just walk away after reading some of your highly contentious comment streams in a wide variety of threads.

You really might want to reconsider that self-assured correctness as it won't do you any favors. Thoughts like "I have it all figured out" or "I'm always right" are usually warning signs that you've stopped learning or being able to be mentally flexible.

We're all but tiny motes with extremely limited perception in an incomprehensibly vast and strange universe. Our brainpans are inherently too small to allow for such correctness all the time, every time. Even yours.
posted by loquacious at 9:57 PM on August 5, 2011


Right now now I show 226 comments in that thread, 34 are from Ironmouth and 33 are from furiousxgeorge maybe they both need to killfile the other.
posted by the_artificer at 10:13 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe look at the comment I'm responding too and the comment that provoked it and reconsider if it's really that confusing if sarcasm or not is really that tough a question.

I am well aware I am not a role model poster, but the level of shit tossed my way for being way to aggressive with my opinions has at times far exceeded any reason and what HF is going for here is a pretty good example. The last contentious thread I was told I should burn to death and now I'm leading an assassination lynch mob.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:15 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't think the bulk of those posts are replies to each other, could be wrong.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:16 PM on August 5, 2011


Right now now I show 226 comments in that thread, 34 are from Ironmouth and 33 are from furiousxgeorge maybe they both need to killfile the other.

Or they should merge into one being: furiousmouth.
posted by homunculus at 10:22 PM on August 5, 2011 [21 favorites]


I'd also add that at times I have been accused of having a rigid opinion when I was being far more nuanced, but when you are the guy the mob is yelling at...it never works out.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:22 PM on August 5, 2011


FuriousXIron
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:22 PM on August 5, 2011


That's going to be my new porn name
posted by Poet_Lariat at 11:02 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am well aware I am not a role model poster, but the level of shit tossed my way for being way to aggressive with my opinions has at times far exceeded any reason and what HF is going for here is a pretty good example. The last contentious thread I was told I should burn to death and now I'm leading an assassination lynch mob.

You are not a victim here.
posted by humanfont at 11:17 PM on August 5, 2011


This.thread blows.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:54 PM on August 5, 2011


IronGeorge says no to blow.
The legolegged anita say so.
posted by clavdivs at 12:18 AM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wrote the original post - I intended it to be more about the international political situation and also hearing from left academics, not so much about Greenwald. I thought that was something we don't often see on Metafilter, and now it's clear why. Maybe I could have framed it better. I don't know what the time limit on a topic is supposed to be, but the previous thread was almost 2 weeks ago.

I'm further left than lots of liberals, but I also think that a person's conscience is their own business. It's condescending to moralize to them, and it's not my job to make them feel guilty. There may be hippy-bashing on metafilter, but there's also a fair bit of moralizing and holier-than-thou leftism which we could also do without. It does a disservice to left political thought by making it look shallow, like it's just a way to make yourself feel morally better than someone else.
posted by AlsoMike at 12:54 AM on August 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


I intended it to be more about the international political situation and also hearing from left academics, not so much about Greenwald. I thought that was something we don't often see on Metafilter, and now it's clear why.

My general strategy with Greenwald links is to hide them in the middle of my FPP, so only genuinely interested readers will find them. And never, ever, EVER mention him by name in the text of the post. Many people take his presence as a license to theadshit, though I'll leave pondering the hows and whys of this rather visceral reaction as an exercise for the reader. (See also: Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, etc.) In my opinion any intellectual who earns that kind of blind, frothing-at-the mouth rage is clearly doing something right.
posted by mek at 1:05 AM on August 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


So let me get this straight. Hippie punching in this context is calling out someone who ends up hurting left leaning persons/issues, despite their good intentions. Is this the bad thing, or is using the term, "hippie punching" the bad thing in itself?
posted by 2N2222 at 1:58 AM on August 6, 2011


it's basically the definition of feeding the troll.

Loathsome as I find his American supremecist views, I don't think it's fair to characterise Ironmouth in terms of trollery. As far as I can tell he's sincere in his positions.

if you feel there is someone that will never listen, will keep making wrong-headed comments, will shout down any position, the best way to reduce their frequency of commenting is to not respond.

Sometimes even if no-one responds the "NEVER STOP POSTING" completely overwhelms the ability to have any kind of conversation.

Anyway, I made the MeTa more because it was unclear to me whether it was a directive to everyone including Ironmouth to go take a deep breath and count to ten, or whether it was a "quit arguing with the guy", the latter of which would be pretty poor.

but why does it have to be Nader voters of all people? How do the 40-60% of people who don't even bother to vote at all get off scott-free in all this?

Because a chunk of the Democratic Party found it convenient to blame lefties rather than the idea that running Al Gore on a, "Look at me, I'm to the right of Clinton" and partnering him with Joe Lieberman might not have been a great move. And a certain partisan arrogance that says those votes belong to the Democrats, regardless of whether they're doing anything the voter thinks is a good idea.
posted by rodgerd at 2:11 AM on August 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Anyway, I made the MeTa more because it was unclear to me whether it was a directive to everyone including Ironmouth to go take a deep breath and count to ten, or whether it was a "quit arguing with the guy", the latter of which would be pretty poor.

Every time I've seen the mods use that phrase, they meant the former, not the latter. I presumed it meant the same this time, especially since Ironmouth was commenting so frequently.
posted by harriet vane at 3:34 AM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


The boundless enthusiasm of the left for forming a circular firing squad around any incidence of thought crime and blasting away till no-one's left standing never fails to entertain the rest of us.
posted by joannemullen at 4:03 AM on August 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


obviously, it's become so entertaining that the right have now decided to try doing it themselves
posted by pyramid termite at 4:26 AM on August 6, 2011


the_artificer: Right now now I show 226 comments in that thread, 34 are from Ironmouth and 33 are from furiousxgeorge maybe they both need to killfile the other

I have no opinion on killfiles but I think the metrics here bear repeating. When more than 1 in 10 comments in a thread are from any single poster, it is well past time for that poster or those posters to take a break from the thread.

I have to spot-check myself on this all the time. I do so by reminding myself that what I have to say is not more important than what other people have to say, even if I am right and they are wrong. Regardless of the context or the arena, it is impolite to dominate a conversation. And if there are two parties doing so, they perhaps need to find the MeMail button so that there is room for other people to participate.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:42 AM on August 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes, joannemullen--for once I agree with you. We have always attacked each other with far more gusto that we do the opposition. It's tiresome punker-than-thou bullshit.
posted by rain at 4:53 AM on August 6, 2011


Ah, populism and pragmatism. Whither states(wo)manship?

"People! Tell me where you are going so that I can lead you!"

versus

"A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be."
posted by likeso at 5:15 AM on August 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm just over here.
posted by Meatbomb at 5:54 AM on August 6, 2011


The solution? Thunderdome.
posted by cashman at 5:54 AM on August 6, 2011


You are not a victim here.

I am certainly a victim of your insane personal attack here, yes. There's a reason it was so quickly deleted over on the blue.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:08 AM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Has anyone seen Meatbomb? He was over there a few minutes ago.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:23 AM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think he entered Thunderdome. "Two men enter. One man leaves."

Uh-oh.
posted by likeso at 6:25 AM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


furiousxgeorge: "7 times out of over 3000 comments. The word "fuck" shows up 226 times, just imagine if you were someone bothered by profanity as much as "hippy punching""

Imagine reading a thread about child abuse in the Catholic Church and coming across more than half a dozen variations on this:
A: Catholics shouldn't be leaving the church in protest; it would be more effective to put pressure on the relatively small hierarchy who are knowingly abetting the abuse.

B: Keep chokeslamming those nuns, A! You'll destroy Christianity in no time!

posted by Rhaomi at 10:32 PM on August 5


Imagine a world where everyone got the essential point here, which is that selective offence-taking is bloody stupid, and that people really ought to stop bridling about "offence" and learn to either shrug it off or throw it back.
posted by Decani at 7:06 AM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ironmouth didn't post very much in this thread, but nonetheless the thread was pretty vituperative. Whatever's going on is clearly not just about him and not just about him responding to comments about him.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:11 AM on August 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


> Folks who spend a lot of time here are by circumstance obviously going to comment more than folks who don't spend so much time, and that's natural and fine as far as it goes. But it's important that people remember that this place is a big community, that people who aren't commenting in any given thread by the dozens still want to be a voice in conversations, and that discussion here is a lot richer and stronger when those folks can be heard, and can feel like they have any chance of being heard, over the din of a handful of regulars going around the same block again and again and again.

It's really good to hear a mod say that.
posted by nangar at 7:26 AM on August 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't always agree with Ironmouth, but find his perspective extremely valuable.

I think it's great that he's willing to stay engaged so long in the thread, and moreover, that he's willing to play the role of the Voice of the Administration.

Personally, I think the Dems could rally the support they needed if

a) they financed a 24-7 propaganda organ, like Fox;
b) they operated as if they realized that political success is not about offering a better mousetrap, but about designating a more frightening and infuriating villain.

Voters don't want to know how to fix a specific problem, or know that you have a plan for for fixing it that Serious People like, or know that you how to fix this problem-- voters want to know who to blame for all their problems.

Until the Dems stop focusing on solutions and start focusing on Robber Barons Who Are Laughing At You and Making Secret Insider Deals to Steal Your House and Molest Your Kittens, they are going to be reliably defeated by Republicans claiming that Eggheads and Black People Are Keeping You From Being Your Natural Millionaire Self.
posted by darth_tedious at 9:49 AM on August 6, 2011 [15 favorites]


I would like to ask how alsomike's post is the best of the web, rather than something that was posted to foster a lefty/righty shouting match. It's supposed to be about the links, isn't it? Isn't it?
posted by Lynsey at 9:52 AM on August 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I know this much: I recently made a thread about the S&P downgrade that normally would have Ironmouth written all over it. He's only commented three times in that thread and rather mildly at that and I'm guessing it's because of this thread. I see opinions in that thread that I react negatively to, make me screw up my face but still are well presented and I can think about them - maybe change my mind about them at some point. But when Ironmouth does his usual thinkg such a thread usually becomes Ironmouth vs. the World and I don't learn a damn thing. Too often I get caught up in it myself. I'm just saying that it's nice to see a thread where that isn't happening and I learn a whole lot more when it doesn't happen.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 9:57 AM on August 6, 2011


Hippie punching in this context is calling out someone who ends up hurting left leaning persons/issues, despite their good intentions. Is this the bad thing, or is using the term, "hippie punching" the bad thing in itself?

I think the problem is with the bolded statement. The people accused of hippie punching think that those they criticize are hurting left-leaning persons/issues. The persons being called out don't, and find the accusation that their criticism is what is causing trouble for Democratic politicians, rather than the politicians' acts themselves, about which the "hippies" were complaining.

It's basically: should progressives who dissent from centrist Democratic policies really get called out for that?

In the initial thread, it was the framing about how "the left" were idiots because Ironmouth has heard someone say that Obama got played, and has heard someone say that Obama is an "evil mastermind," without any indication that anyone who said the former also said the latter, or that either was representative of "the left." So "the left" didn't actually mean anything other than "any Democrats who disagree with Obama for whatever reason" and instead of saying "various Democrats disagree with Obama for different reasons" the conclusion was "the left thinks contradictory things! they're dumb!"
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 10:43 AM on August 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


I usually agree with Ironmouth in those discussions (the ones I look at; I haven't looked closely at the one in question), but I lack his patience/masochistic streak. Still, he's doing Soros' the Lord's work.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:46 AM on August 6, 2011


DarlingBri And if there are two parties doing so, they perhaps need to find the MeMail button so that there is room for other people to participate.

The thing is, they did have a long memail chain going.
posted by mlis at 11:26 AM on August 6, 2011


So "the left" didn't actually mean anything other than "any Democrats who disagree with Obama for whatever reason" and instead of saying "various Democrats disagree with Obama for different reasons" the conclusion was "the left thinks contradictory things! they're dumb!"

Especially weird in this context, given that the fantastic discussion reposted on Corey Robin's blog — which is the most substantial and interesting link in the post, but seems to have gone totally unread in the Greenwald-baiting furor — is just not a discussion among Democrats at all. When you're responding to a debate by a wide spectrum of lefties, some of whom are one or another flavor of Marxist while others are social-democrats or progressives/left-liberals, responding by complaining that they're not fully enough supporting the Democratic Party is just a silly category mistake. No doubt "hippie punching" is a stupid term for this, but the dynamic that people are trying to label by using it — the attempt to quash discussion of any opinion to the left of the DLC, for fig-leaf "strategic" reasons — is real and unpleasant enough to be worthy of some backlash.
posted by RogerB at 11:30 AM on August 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


The boundless enthusiasm of the left for forming a circular firing squad around any incidence of thought crime and blasting away till no-one's left standing never fails to entertain the rest of us.

The only solution I've managed to find is to stay away from threads that Ironmouth and his followers participate in. It sucks that it has to be that way, that the progressives among us cannot participate because we're agents working for the GOP, but it doesn't appear like his noise will stop any time soon. Hopefully we won't have to do another Metatalk thread like this, but I'm doubtful.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:57 AM on August 6, 2011


To be fair, Ironmouth does not post the GOP double agent conspiracy theory some went for in that thread. (Which was far more toxic than anything he said there)
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:05 PM on August 6, 2011


mlis: The thing is, they did have a long memail chain going.

Ahh, so I see:

Ironmouth and I had a long memail chain too trying to keep the back and forth out of the thread but we both seem to push each other's buttons so we see each other replying to other people and can't resist.

Ok well, I don't know what to say about that that isn't rude. Try harder? Get a blog? Make a Post It note that says THOU SHALL NOT OVERPOST? Because fundamentally, this sort of behaviour is just "my special snowflake of an opinion merits more space and attention than others" or just "my need to be right and exhaust my opponent into submission is more important than the right of other people to not be subjected to this."

I am not trying to imply that anyone is consciously thinking this way, but the point that it reads this way to others and is basically just tedious and tiresome needs a little more mental bandwidth. It's fundamentally just selfish and rude.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:41 PM on August 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


TL;DR: TALK LESS. THINK MORE.
posted by loquacious at 12:46 PM on August 6, 2011


I'm coming in late to this, directed here by a friend, but I would like to say that I left Metafilter because of Ironmouth.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:10 PM on August 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


The problem is there is no hard cap where you know the back and forth has gone a bit too far. It's kind of like those drunk driving ads, it's easy to tell when you are falling down drunk but not when you are a just bit too tipsy to drive.

I enjoy reading most of Ironmouth's comments and favorite as many as I disagree with. I'm not going to stop replying to him entirely but will make an effort to make sure it's not at the obviously overboard point.

One of the problems here grew out of the fact that the 3000 page monster thread was a live news thread for large portions of it and it lasted over a long period of time so quick and fast posting was pretty standard. By the time the new thread came out it just felt like a continuation of the old one instead of a fresh start.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:21 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


A thread can be like a bag Cabo Chips, it is just not right without fresh guac.
posted by clavdivs at 1:26 PM on August 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh great, another shill for the Avocado Board trying to sabotage the salsa industry.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:29 PM on August 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


Back and forth arguments are fine, but if you're constantly covering the same ground, or if it reads like an IRC log, then something's wrong.

Sometimes people just like to argue, especially when some pseudonymous blip on the internet can handily symbolize some larger, detestable idea.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:30 PM on August 6, 2011


I'm coming in late to this, directed here by a friend, but I would like to say that I left Metafilter because of Ironmouth.

Which is kind of a shitty thing to post as a driveby.
posted by Justinian at 2:23 PM on August 6, 2011 [16 favorites]


I once left Metafilter because of its fear of commitment.
posted by rain at 3:04 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I left Metafilter because of Ironmouth.

Ugh. Barf-o-rama. What an ugly, lazy, stupid comment. Good riddance.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 4:01 PM on August 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


I've managed to find is to stay away from threads that Ironmouth and his followers participate in. It sucks that it has to be that way

1. What a wonderfully back-handed way to suggest anyone who agrees with him is a zealot.
2. Especially coming from the person who ruins any thread that is within six degrees of Kevin's bacon to an Apple product.
posted by yerfatma at 4:02 PM on August 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


I left Metafilter because of Ironmouth.

And here's everyone else caring now just as much as they did then.
posted by yerfatma at 4:04 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I left Metafilter because.....

Good god man, get a tetanus shot.

can't run with the big dogs, better stay on the porch.
of course my beagle is an absolute HOUND outside and will bark at a chevy.
remember salsa, check your grocers isle today!

posted by clavdivs at 4:21 PM on August 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


I left Cybertron because of Ironhide.
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:43 PM on August 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I kissed a mermaid because of a singing crab.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:47 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I left MetaFilter on a park bench, but someone found it and put it in my mailbox.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:48 PM on August 6, 2011


I don't always agree with Ironmouth but I'd rather be challenged than be in an echo chamber.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:48 PM on August 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Metafilter, you have no idea how bad it gets.... I wish I knew how to quit you.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:49 PM on August 6, 2011


jessamyn: "[and yes his comment about the Iraquis was shitty and NO ONE flagged it"

I did flag it. At least my phone thought I did. But, as large and unwieldy as that thread got, I wouldn't be surprised if something was lost in the tubes of the intertron; but for the record, I did flag it.
posted by dejah420 at 4:55 PM on August 6, 2011


I kissed a mermaid because of a singing crab.

I bet singing crab cakes are especially tasty. Watch out, Sebastian, you got a date with a deep fryer, you crustacean fucker.
posted by jonmc at 5:01 PM on August 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't always drink beer, but when I do I prefer Los Dos Bocas de Hierro. Stay thirsty, my friends.
posted by Kwine at 5:02 PM on August 6, 2011


I do always drink beer and when I do I prefer whatever's around, but right now I'm drinking Narragansett. Stay whatever the fuck you want, my friends.
posted by jonmc at 5:05 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


My commments are beyond the pale ale, deep lager.
posted by humanfont at 5:20 PM on August 6, 2011


I'd rather be challenged than be in an echo chamber

I think we're shooting for the middle ground here.
posted by mediareport at 5:23 PM on August 6, 2011


*challenges echo chamber to fight*
*listens to challenge echo repeatedly, goes insane*
posted by jonmc at 5:24 PM on August 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


but right now I'm drinking Narragansett.

HOWDY NEIGHBOR!
posted by yerfatma at 5:33 PM on August 6, 2011


Heh. Strangely enough they're selling it in Queens. It's good.
posted by jonmc at 5:36 PM on August 6, 2011


I am the official Metafilter Poster of the Clam.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:37 PM on August 6, 2011


As political threads at metafilter get longer, the odds of someone being inappropriately compared to Nader Greens approach 1.0.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:42 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


My mother could never get me to eat my Nader Greens. I say it's spinning, and I say the hell with it.
posted by Diablevert at 5:45 PM on August 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think we're shooting for the middle ground here.

Agreed! I'm probably part of that middle ground, and this whole discussion has me rethinking the reasons I stay out of most of the political threads.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:45 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


---- ach. Spinach. Goddammit, spell correct.
posted by Diablevert at 5:45 PM on August 6, 2011


The problem, as I see it, is that political discussions here are ultimately driven by an utterly irrational belief that criticism of policy leads to splitting or suppressing the liberal vote. I take comfort in the probability that both the people who've accused me of being a Republican operative and the people who accuse me of betraying progressive politics are equally impotent when it comes to something other than dominating threads.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:53 PM on August 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Strangely enough they're selling it in Queens. It's good.

Yeah, because someone who had nothing to do with the original has bought it and made an effort. On the other hand, much of my parents' early tax records are stored in hanging files in a gorgeous open-from-the-top 'Gansett case. While the beer's improved, the containers haven't.

I don't always agree with Ironmouth but I'd rather be challenged than be in an echo chamber.

Good Lord, Midas Mulligan would have beet the balls off you people. Buy golden.
posted by yerfatma at 6:00 PM on August 6, 2011


---- ach. Spinach. Goddammit, spell correct.

no, i liked spinning
posted by pyramid termite at 6:03 PM on August 6, 2011


Yeah, because someone who had nothing to do with the original has bought it and made an effort

I know from the label. It's tasty though. I never drank it back in the day, my Vermonter nonno was a Genessee man.
posted by jonmc at 6:06 PM on August 6, 2011


Genesee cream ale?
posted by clavdivs at 6:29 PM on August 6, 2011


2. Especially coming from the person who ruins any thread that is within six degrees of Kevin's bacon to an Apple product.

I'll break a promise I made to myself never to respond to your trolling, but I'll state categorically that you deliberately and severely overestimate my input into Apple threads for the past year or so. I took the criticism and made adjustments. To get off this derail of yours, Ironmouth would do well to make the same kinds of adjustments. Period.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:51 PM on August 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


so, with all this personal investment in political positions, I have to ask: who all is going to be running for office in the near future?
posted by batmonkey at 7:57 PM on August 6, 2011


I'm forming my own party: the Guilty Party.
posted by jonmc at 7:58 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


so, with all this personal investment in political positions, I have to ask: who all is going to be running for office in the near future?

Dejah420.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:02 PM on August 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm going to run on the butter platform.
posted by clavdivs at 8:34 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]



It's basically: should progressives who dissent from centrist Democratic policies really get called out for that?


Yes. Kind of. Let me be more clear. I think calling out someone for not supporting the Democratic establishment is unfair, simply because not everyone is a Democrat. However, I think it's perfectly fine to call out a stance or action that actually leads to a counterproductive result. If this is hippie punching, then so be it. Let's not make the mistake that only the left side of the spectrum does this sort of counter productive thing. Remember Christine O'Donnell and Sharon Angle?

The problem as I see it is that some who dissent from centrist Democratic policies don't want to be guilt tripped because of a disastrous result they have been/might be party to. In a way, it's sort of a yearning for a Reagan's 11th commandment for the left. It troubles me because:

One, bad consequences caused by well intentioned actions need to be called out.

Two, I wasn't aware MF was an officially leftist site.

Three, if this is some kind of policy, even if informal, it creates an echo chamber. Which I find a dismal end to MF.
posted by 2N2222 at 8:41 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've had Genesee cream ale. For the record, it is nothing like a cream soda.
posted by BeerFilter at 8:50 PM on August 6, 2011


It is not an officially leftist site, but the 'Mob/Take on all comers' dynamic makes it deeply stressful to go against the general opinion of the site. You have to have a pretty thick skin to be a conservative when even leftists are telling each other they are assassination lynch mobbers.

As for if any blame should be called out, I think we can punt on that question and just stick with, "At this time, each side of the debate has adequately called each other out."
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:52 PM on August 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


There's the Roseanne Green Tea Party, there's the Willie Nelson Teapot Party, and I think there's one I'm forgetting.
posted by box at 9:11 PM on August 6, 2011


Ironmouth was on fire in that thread. I aborted 3 of my posts. I got to preview and discovered he'd already made the argument. Perhaps there should just be an informal 1 hour rule. Make your points and then give others a chance to followup and concur /extend before jumping back in. Let the critics get their points out and come back with a less direct rebuttal.
posted by humanfont at 10:01 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Remember Christine O'Donnell and Sharon Angle?

You mean the candidates endorsed by the Tea Party? Whose representatives make up a fraction of the Republican votes in Congress, yet who caused this months-long, all-encompassing debt ceiling fake crisis, kept the Democrats from getting any of their demands, and appeared to win the battle? Somehow, I don't imagine that the bigwigs of the Tea Party feel too bad about losing two individual seats when they've terrified one of the only two feasible political parties in the country into doing whatever they want, which has the second-level effect of preventing the OTHER party from getting anything THEY want.

The problem as I see it is that some who dissent from centrist Democratic policies don't want to be guilt tripped because of a disastrous result they have been/might be party to.

First of all, check out the fact that you couldn't even claim that progressives on the Internet have been a party to "a disastrous result" without hedging. Because seriously... name one single disastrous result that is attributable, in any statistically significant part, to Internet criticism of Democratic politicians. Or to progressive criticism in general! Even the Nader voters thing has been debunked in this very MeTa thread, in addition to millions of other times elsewhere, and that's the closest thing to an example that I can think of.

Meanwhile, crosstabs have shown that the difference in Democratic turnout in 2008 and 2010 was NOT that the progressives, who were bitching about the weaksauce version of HCR crammed down our throats, lack of any movement on closing Guantanamo or ending DADT, inadequate stimulus, cabinet packed full of bankers, etc. failed to turn out -- it was that the independents, who voted in 2008 for a version of Obama that promised all those things, but then failed to deliver them, broke for Republicans instead of Democrats.

So, you can read those tea leaves in one of two ways: Maybe those millions of independents all secretly read FireDogLake and the MetaFilter comments and saw progressives being mean to Obama and said "hey, you know what?? I hate him too!!!" and voted Republican. Alternatively, maybe they believed what they were told in the 2008 campaign, and the combination of disappointment + awful economy shifted their loyalty. I find the latter explanation more plausible by a factor of like infinity.

Notice that I'm not blaming Obama for the failure to accomplish those things. I know that some of his campaign promises are unattainable for reasons entirely out of his hands, like closing Guantanamo. But I think he could have done MUCH more to fight for others of them, and he didn't, and he lost Independents. Naturally, the party establishment interpreted that result to mean that he needed to break harder right between 2010 and 2012, and so here we are with Obama offering a debt ceiling compromise plan with higher cuts than Republicans asked for, Obama being the one to put Social Security cuts on the table in the negotiations, and meanwhile large majorities of the public want higher taxes on the rich and they don't want any benefit cuts. So in 2012, when the Democrats try to talk up this debt ceiling deal they "won" the same way they talked up the pitiful excuse for a HCR bill before the 2010 elections, I'm not holding out hope that all the Independents who weren't convinced in 2010 will suddenly see the light. But if Obama were using all of his TV appearances and weekly web videos to vigorously defend Social Security and Medicare, instead of saying that they need to be cut so that the mysterious gods of the markets might feel more confident, which will magically summon forth jobs, I could see independents in 2012 going "you know what? This guy seriously fought for the services I depend upon when the Republicans were trying to cut them." Instead, Obama and the Republicans spent so long trying to reach some stupid pointless compromise over something so obvious and basic that we lost our AAA credit rating because investors see our nation as moronic and incapable of performing its basic functions, and Obama's strongest argument is that he "won" a negotiation in which he didn't get a single thing his party wanted and spent weeks saying on television that was mandatory in a deal that they would sign. Ooops.

So, in light of these comments,

One, bad consequences caused by well intentioned actions need to be called out.

Yes. And this is what the progressive commenters who find themselves the victims of what some have called "hippie punching" are doing when they call out Democrats who do stupid things that are bad for the nation and appear to actually hurt their popularity/electoral prospects in an effort to chase the center, which recedes ever further to the right as the Republican party goes batshit. I don't think establishment Democrats mean to do awful, pointless things, they do it because they think it will make Independents vote for them. It didn't, two years ago, but they're doubling down on the strategy anyway. And now I have typed words about it.

Here's the difference to me: When progressives say "I can't believe Obama/Reid/Democrats/whoever is selling out/giving up without a fight/calling liberals 'fucking retarded,'" we're trying to draw attention to the mistakes of people in positions of power whose decisions affect millions of people. When other commenters respond to those same progressives, saying they are "getting paid off by the Right and in cahoots with Grover Norquist" or "thoroughly invested in the idea that Obama is either a long-lost Koch Brother or so incompetent as makes no odds, and then see everything through that prism" (actual quotes from 106235), people such as myself are like, really? People in your own, same party, who more reliably voted for your candidates in the past election, and who did much of the phonebanking, canvassing, and voter registration in 2008 are seriously more deserving of criticism, let alone incomprehensible and dumb attacks, just because we're bummed that our Democratic politicians are acting like Republicans? You really want to accuse people who are bummed because the debt ceiling deal didn't include HIGHER TAXES of being in cahoots with GROVER NORQUIST? ::head asplode::

I'm sympathetic to your point, but if you think calling out good-intentioned people whose actions caused disastrous results is worthwhile, then why attack randoms for expressing their opinions on the Internet whose impact is minimal? Especially if they're calling out good-intentioned people in positions of power in the government of a superpower, whose actions caused real, tangible disastrous results that actually happened?

Two, I wasn't aware MF was an officially leftist site.

You are correct since it's not, and even Jessamyn expressed distaste over use of the term "hippie punching," but there's still no policy against it. So probably as long as people can fly off the handle and accuse strangers of being on Grover Norquist's payroll because they criticized Obama in a comments section, the people on the receiving end of that will continue having a problem with it, and everyone on both sides and all the bystanders will hate it.
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 11:21 PM on August 6, 2011 [15 favorites]


There's one thing you guys should know about hippies: they don't like being punched, and they wear comfortable pants.




That's two things, but the second one is a freebie.
posted by P.o.B. at 11:56 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


When other commenters respond to those same progressives, saying they are "getting paid off by the Right and in cahoots with Grover Norquist" or "thoroughly invested in the idea that Obama is either a long-lost Koch Brother or so incompetent as makes no odds, and then see everything through that prism" (actual quotes from 106235), people such as myself are like, really?

Add the following nugget to the ever-growing list:

And let's be frank, quite a few of the class warriors here on MeFi who break out the term 'hippie punching' on a regular basis have a massive hard-on for the Tea Party. It reminds me of the lunatic fringe of Hillary Clinton supporters back in the 2008 primaries that turned out to be be part of the GOP campaign, clustered around websites like Hillaryis44.com - not to support Hillary Clinton at all, but to demonize Barack Obama from the left for the benefit of the right. Looks to me like some of them are still at it.

Stop punching hippies, you hippy punchers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:09 AM on August 7, 2011


Yeah, maybe try hugging them!
posted by P.o.B. at 12:14 AM on August 7, 2011


Everyone needs a hippy.
posted by Sailormom at 12:41 AM on August 7, 2011


2N2222: The problem as I see it is that some who dissent from centrist Democratic policies don't want to be guilt tripped because of a disastrous result they have been/might be party to. In a way, it's sort of a yearning for a Reagan's 11th commandment for the left.

Do you remember the PUMAs? Middle-aged white feminist women who were going to tear the Democratic National Convention apart over Obama's nomination? And remember how that whole enterprise turned out to be an ineffective Republican monkey-wrenching campaign that wasn't even a statistical blip when it came to fundraising or votes?

The notion that liberals hurt liberalism by advocating for liberal policies needs to be sunk into a deep dark hole and buried there. You're talking about 12-14% of the voters that, over the last decade, has routinely demonstrated the highest party loyalty of any demographic group. 88-91% of them vote for Democrats in fair weather and foul.

This debate reminds me of the possibly mythical English solider who was ordered to maintain watch for Napoleon for thirty years after the former Emperor died in exile. Liberals are 12-14% of the population. And you're flipping out over statistical phantoms when Tea Party astroturfing converted millions of votes in 2010? You're attacking people who voted Democrat, donated Democrat, and worked Democrat. How does that work?

And the answer is, it doesn't. Non-voting progressives are a very vocal minority here on Metafliter, but they're completely irrelevant at the voting booth, not even a statistical blip. The duck-and-cover party here on Metafilter is doomed to irrelevance by a failure to recognize that you make the votes for reform by consistently advocating it, even in the face of repeated legislative failure and compromise.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:53 AM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Non-voting progressives are a very vocal minority here on Metafliter, but they're completely irrelevant at the voting booth, not even a statistical blip.

Are you sure ?

I likely will not vote for Obama next election. I likely will convince 3 to 5 other people to do likewise. Possibly a great deal more if I start a news blog. Discount the Progressives at your own risk. Didn't work out so great last election nor in the 2000 election.

The problem is not that Progressives won't vote for your candidate. The problem is that you don't have any candidates and policies that we will vote for.

OK, you got me last election... but fool me once...
posted by Poet_Lariat at 1:16 AM on August 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Are you sure ?

That article actually supports my point. In spite of making the same argument since the 80s, Greens are not able to stay on the ballot in most states, and exit poll breakdowns by political identity are consistent year after year. The total number of liberals among American voters is just above the threshold mentioned.

I likely will not vote for Obama next election. I likely will convince 3 to 5 other people to do likewise. Possibly a great deal more if I start a news blog.

Well, good luck with that. Really.

Didn't work out so great last election nor in the 2000 election.

I'm looking at the last election, and seeing the almost same voting numbers for liberals as in 2008 and 2006. In spite of a handful of my fellow progressives washing their hands of Democrats every election, protest voting by liberals is consistently a tiny slice of the pie.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:36 AM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


HOWDY NEIGHBOR!

Howdy? No. Wrong region, stranger.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:39 AM on August 7, 2011


"Meanwhile, crosstabs have shown that the difference in Democratic turnout in 2008 and 2010 was NOT that the progressives, who were bitching about the weaksauce version of HCR crammed down our throats, lack of any movement on closing Guantanamo or ending DADT, inadequate stimulus, cabinet packed full of bankers, etc. failed to turn out -- it was that the independents, who voted in 2008 for a version of Obama that promised all those things, but then failed to deliver them, broke for Republicans instead of Democrats. "

That's not really a helpful read on those crosstabs (or a very good analysis by ABC in general). More independents voted for Republicans in 2010 than in 2008, but independents as a percentage fell from 2008. Basically, it was a midterm election and had really similar turnout to most midterms, i.e. smaller and favoring conservatives because of that. The fervor or fanaticism of the Tea Party really did motivate the base, but the disgruntled independents as a proportion of electorate was pretty predictable. In the end, it was essentially a traditional midterm turnout for Dems and an exceptional midterm turnout for Republicans.

You are right that progressives generally came out, though, and surprisingly Democrats held onto more of the second-time voters (the ones who first voted for Obama) than most people had predicted.

But let me contrast something that I think gets missed when people complain about hippy punching: I think yours is a pretty solid comment. We might disagree on some things, but I think that was thoughtful and well reasoned. On the other hand, I think Poet_Lariat both misreads polling data and is actively working against my interests on a national level. I think she both has a fundamental misunderstanding of the way that the electoral system here works and has a simplistic and dogmatic approach to politics. That was something that annoyed me about Blazecock's martyr poses above — neither of them represent progressives in the main, and I'm frustrated when criticisms of either of them are conflated with criticisms of progressives as a whole. Similarly, I'm annoyed when pointing out fairly basic things (like that the winer-take-all structure of our elections basically guarantees there can only be two viable parties at a time, especially nationally) is seen as some sort of hippy-punching centrism instead of pointing out that if you don't know that, you really don't know enough about American politics to hold forth on what's realistic or what tactics are effective.

It's not just the far lefties that get lumped together and have their positions caricatured, and some of the posters that represent themselves as emblematic of the left are as guilty or more of the sloppy thinking and factionalization that happens here as anyone else.
posted by klangklangston at 7:30 AM on August 7, 2011 [6 favorites]


At the very end of 2010, there were not enough votes to cover medical care for 9/11 emergency responders. Various people grumbled about this for some time, and it was seen as just kind of a done deal:

Excellent points, CHT. But here's my argument--sure, on the incredibly tiny tear-jerker issue of health care for 9/11--it is easy to move the goal posts. On the issue of trillions of tax increases, much harder.

More importantly, if I've been unclear on these points, let me be more clear--the president can move the ball forward. But not enough to move the ball over the line on a critical issue. He has to be very, very careful to husband his resources so that on the huge issues, he doesn't lose more than the small gains he might make.

Let's be clear here--this entire debate in one sense or another is about the public option. Some persons think some magical power existed to move it forward in the Senate. I wanted it too. But the votes weren't there.

Same with the debt debate. By the time you are arguing about a bill that must be passed in four days time, you aren't going to convince those 83 Republican freshman. It can't be done. So just opening up with all you've got means nothing, gives your opponent the measure of your strength (something you never want), and contributes to the idea you are losing influence at a higher rate than you want people to believe.

Case in point: John Boehner. The guy ought to fold up and go home. When he couldn't lift his caucus a week ago thursday night he was wounded mortally. People found out the limits of his strength. They found ougt he couldn't deliver his caucus. That weakens his bargaining power immensely because people aren't going to move towards your position if they think you can't deliver your caucus to a position near that.

This is what the President must avoid. He cannot be shown to lose when he expends all his strength. He cannot be shown to be in a position where his political capital is being expended at a rate quicker than people expect.

My other complaint is that much of this is emotionally driven, not policy and politics driven. People are emotionally upset by this and want to see the President deliver a bitch slap to the GOP, like on daytime TV. It may feel good, but it doesn't advance the policy.

To me, its about the results.

I'm not saying the President can't move the ball in a broad sense. But in the case of micromanaging the legislation and intervening, he takes risks. It rarely pays off in a positive way. And times that a President appears to do so and win are often stage-managed instances where the chances were well north of 95% anyway.

Like it or not, these real considerations have played a role in politics for a long time. Presidents who ignore them get crushed.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:31 AM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


klangklangston: I've been attacked as an explicit Obama supporter by the duck-and-cover people for advocating policy and wanting to a month off from Internet discussions about politics. The IFF of duck-and-cover Obama supporters here is ridiculously broken, inflated by an absurd sense of Quixotic gravitas that attacking their fellow Democrats on metafilter will help them win elections.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:52 AM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


"More importantly, if I've been unclear on these points, let me be more clear--the president can move the ball forward. But not enough to move the ball over the line on a critical issue. He has to be very, very careful to husband his resources so that on the huge issues, he doesn't lose more than the small gains he might make.

Let's be clear here--this entire debate in one sense or another is about the public option. Some persons think some magical power existed to move it forward in the Senate. I wanted it too. But the votes weren't there.

Same with the debt debate. By the time you are arguing about a bill that must be passed in four days time, you aren't going to convince those 83 Republican freshman. It can't be done. So just opening up with all you've got means nothing, gives your opponent the measure of your strength (something you never want), and contributes to the idea you are losing influence at a higher rate than you want people to believe.
"

And I disagree with this fait accompli read. The president has done a terrible job of using his bully pulpit and orating the important reasons for both public options and avoiding debt default, and he should have been speaking on them early and often in ways that the public can understand. He has the ability to shift the framing of the issue, and has done poorly with it. Further, given the headroom he had on the debt vote, it's almost certain he left significant Republican concessions on the table.

With the debt default, he should have been fighting on this since last December, when it became clear that instead of having a shutdown over the budget, the Tea Party was going to attack the debt ceiling. He didn't play offense at all.

And yeah, even more blame goes to the shitty Dems in congress, with their weak leadership. They certainly are playing a conciliatory, compromising role that shorts the American people on everything from health care to employment. But the lame duck session should have been where we dealt with all this shit, and Reid should have been willing to tell the Republicans to break out their fucking phone books and have a real filibuster so that the American people could see that they are extremists who hate this country.

But spinning this as a win now is bullshit, and is such shameless bullshit that I think it's detrimental to the Democrats to put it out there instead of being open, saying we got fucked, and resolving to do everything in their power to not get fucked again and asking the American people to vote the fuckers out of office.
posted by klangklangston at 7:52 AM on August 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


Kirk: IFF?
posted by klangklangston at 7:54 AM on August 7, 2011


IFF: Identification Friend or Foe.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:01 AM on August 7, 2011


With the debt default, he should have been fighting on this since last December, when it became clear that instead of having a shutdown over the budget, the Tea Party was going to attack the debt ceiling. He didn't play offense at all.

They tried the shutdown play too.

Listen, my point is that they were gonna do this no matter what Obama said. If you look at the record, he's been talking about it from day one of this Congress. But even if you were paying attention--its easy to see why it got drowned out--a few small, tiny things happened this spring that kinda took up a lot of news oxygen.

This is why I have called it a win. The GOP, bound and determined to do this, set waaaay higher goals. They lost on every single one of those goals. No entitlement reform, revenue still on the table, titanic cuts to defense. The dems protected them all. To me, its the results that count.

Listen its no surprise that it took a lot of shouting to move the ball on "raising the debt ceiling" over 50%. But the fact remains that they were stopped, cold.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:19 AM on August 7, 2011


Also, thinking of it, that belongs in the other thread. Both of ours do.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:20 AM on August 7, 2011


My two cents, FWIW:

1. Political discussions are gonna be contentious. The more people try to stay with the"what" and not the "who", the better - but that's expecting a lot. I personally never take political disagreements personally (or mean them personally), but, again, that's expecting a lot from everybody.

2. It's impossible to have political discussions without covering issues over and over again. That doesn't mean the payoff is always the same. It's like gold mining - 99% rock and 1% gold. I almost always learn something in the conversations. Everybody has their particular axe(s) to grind.

3. There are way more intelligent discussions going on here than ones that get out of hand. I am glad that the mods here don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:31 AM on August 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Gonna keep this meta:

Let's be clear here--this entire debate in one sense or another is about the public option. Some persons think some magical power existed to move it forward in the Senate. I wanted it too. But the votes weren't there.

Let's break down the things wrong with this. In this thread you are the first person to to use the phrase public option, so it can't be that central to the debate. In the "get what he wants" thread I was, and was suggesting he should have spoken more forcefully for it even if it can't pass. In "Endgame" the first person to bring it up was suggesting an alternate strategy to try and get the votes for it.

In none of these instances is anyone bringing it into the debate to request magical pony assistance on the issue. This brings us to what really gets you all pissed off:

My other complaint is that much of this is emotionally driven, not policy and politics driven. People are emotionally upset by this and want to see the President deliver a bitch slap to the GOP, like on daytime TV. It may feel good, but it doesn't advance the policy.

Like with the public option magic, reality just isn't that simple. If you make a broad comment on a large group of people, you will be wrong on the individual level. On Metafilter we are talking to individuals, this isn't a one way mass media.

Some people have a different view of how you drive policy and politics, that does not make them emotional.

Regardless, it's not fair to ask someone not to be emotional in a conversation. Emotional expression is just how some people are wired, there's a reason people want that bitchslap and don't handle politics like the Vulcan High Command. It can get out of hand and disrupt conversations for sure, but it isn't really very worthwhile to point it out to dismiss a range of arguments.

I can only speak for myself, but I feel a lot less likely to get contentious in a thread if:

-I'm not being grouped in with a large category of people when I have diverse opinions like everyone else.
-When there is no condescension along the lines of "You're just being emotional and want magic and don't understand politics!"

These discussions can go smoother when we stick to addressing the content of the posts and understand there are legitimate points of debate and diverse opinions present.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:22 AM on August 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


>The GOP, bound and determined to do this, set waaaay higher goals. They lost on every single one of those goals.

Again, it's the Overton Window in action.

If you judge by their stated goals, they lost badly.

If you judge by what they actually accomplished-- basically, no tax increases, and not even removal of Dubya's crippling tax cuts for the wealthy-- they won handily.

I'm pretty sure that the GOP's backers care much more about the latter, than whether Boehner and Cantor look sad on TV.
posted by darth_tedious at 12:31 PM on August 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


"...the FFP was an...."

Jack Ruby and the Reporters: "You mean the 'Fair Play for Cuba Committee' ...."
;)
posted by clavdivs at 1:31 PM on August 7, 2011


Howdy? No. Wrong region, stranger.

Meh, first 21 years of my life, I can take some liberties. It's not like it was liquid gold anyway. It was in the same category as Schaeffer: "The beer to have when you're having more than one."
posted by yerfatma at 1:53 PM on August 7, 2011


klangklangston:On the other hand, I think Poet_Lariat both misreads polling data and is actively working against my interests on a national level. I think she both has a fundamental misunderstanding of the way that the electoral system here works and has a simplistic and dogmatic approach to politics.

My approach to politics is this: If you keep enabling people who do bad things to you then people tend to keep doing bad things to you. I've lived long enough to see changes in this country - very bad changes . Changes made both by Republicans and Democrats. From this point forward I refuse to enable Democrats to continue to treat me badly. From this point forward I refuse to be cowed by the boogy-man prospect of something worse around the corner. No more. It's my vote and I protest the current state of affairs by withholding it from the Democrats. My eyes are wide open. When enough people open their eyes I trust that true change will come to this country.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 2:48 PM on August 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm annoyed when pointing out fairly basic things (like that the winer-take-all structure of our elections basically guarantees there can only be two viable parties at a time, especially nationally) is seen as some sort of hippy-punching centrism instead of pointing out that if you don't know that, you really don't know enough about American politics to hold forth on what's realistic or what tactics are effective.

Except that's not what happens.

What happens repeatedly, by Ironmouth, by Rhaomi, by anigbrowl, by others, is that anyone who is left of where the Democratic Party happens to be, anyone who dares to criticize the activities of the Democratic Party, gets accused of being a GOP operative.

We have quoted this happening several times now and you and others persist in recasting what you're doing as some sort of education, instead of — yes — hippy punching: Casting derision on progressives who dare to speak out on Metafilter.

You can call that martyrdom if you like, but don't lie and say we don't understand politics.

That's not what you're doing, and it is plainly dishonest of you to keep calling it that.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:52 PM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ooh! Blazecock! Are you now going to use your oft trotted out rhetorical bludgeon of telling them they should be ashamed of themselves?! It's so cute when you do.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 3:07 PM on August 7, 2011


I'm annoyed when pointing out fairly basic things (like that the winer-take-all structure of our elections basically guarantees there can only be two viable parties at a time, especially nationally) is seen as some sort of hippy-punching centrism instead of pointing out that if you don't know that, you really don't know enough about American politics to hold forth on what's realistic or what tactics are effective.

I think others might also be annoyed by people pointing that out since, you know, everybody is already aware of it.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:08 PM on August 7, 2011


Blazecock Pileon: "What happens repeatedly, by Ironmouth, by Rhaomi, by anigbrowl, by others, is that anyone who is left of where the Democratic Party happens to be, anyone who dares to criticize the activities of the Democratic Party, gets accused of being a GOP operative."

Dude, WTF? Point out one time I've done that, much less "repeatedly" or "several times now." I understand one person made such an accusation, but it wasn't me. Maybe I was too circumspect last time, but really, stop accusing me of doing things I'm not doing. It's disrespectful and uncalled-for.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:10 PM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


"What happens repeatedly, by Ironmouth, by Rhaomi, by anigbrowl, by others, is that anyone who is left of where the Democratic Party happens to be, anyone who dares to criticize the activities of the Democratic Party, gets accused of being a GOP operative."

That's flat out bullshit.

Let's break it down a sec:

First, it's bullshit to assert that it's these particular members, given that the accusation of some sort of crazy Firedoglake/Koch conspiracy came from someone else. None of these members has suggested that you are a GOP operative, no matter how it feels to you.

Second, it's bullshit to assert that this happens to anyone left of where the Democratic Party is, even if we grant your first bullshit proposition. I'm to the left of where the Democratic Party is. The only time I've ever been accused of being a GOP operative, it's by people who are further to the left than I am (and, for the record, when those assertions happen they're so obviously silly that I rarely respond to them).

Third, my derision here comes in two forms: First, I think the idea that not voting for Obama will have better outcomes than voting for him, all else being the same, is idiotic and naive. Second, I have very little tolerance for your repeated mischaracterization of my comments in inflammatory tones, and I have no problem telling you that you're full of shit on that, and if that's the only way that you can participate on topics like this, then yes, you make the right decision every time you shut up. Those are separate points of derision, but at no point do they encompass anything like "hippy punching" and it's asinine to suggest that they do. You have simply seized yourself of a new insult and a new way to insulate your opinions from any modicum of fact.

Fourth, if people like Poet_Lariat, who I assume I agree with broadly on policy goals, would like to actively work for those goals in ways that are productive, I'm more than happy to support that. But believing that the Democrats will get better if progressives declare unrealistic priorities and then declare themselves alienated when they're ignored is idiotic, especially when compared with strategies like: Backing local progressive candidates, backing progressive candidates in primary elections, and the single most effective strategy for many issues — doing direct advocacy work on those issues. But confusing boycotts with a panacea is stupid, especially in a winner-take-all system.

So stop pretending that all criticism is equal, that it is all unwarranted and that it all comes from the outside, and stop trotting out this bullshit and pretending that it's just big meanies picking on you.
posted by klangklangston at 3:14 PM on August 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ironmouth, I noticed you quoted my "we don't have the votes" snark in this thread, and am replying here, since it's really just about your attitude in these types of threads.

I was being facetious, but this is kind of your entire cognitive fail in a nutshell. Policy advocates should not be constrained by political reality: they should say what is the best policy, period. Many of us on mefi are policy wonks, so we get annoyed when people attack us for advocating policy on the basis of "we don't have the votes." We definitely aren't Senators, so this not a very useful comment. As an example, while it may be irrational to expect Obama to successfully implement single-payer healthcare, it is absolutely not irrational to publicly advocate for single payer healthcare, if one believes it is the best policy. And as you note, it should be shocking that while economists acknowledge revenue increases are needed, they refuse to advocate for them. But it sadly isn't. They are afraid to advocate "extreme liberal" policies because to do so could result in them being labelled as shrill, unserious people.

The idea that what can be said should be constrained by what is politically feasible is absolutely pernicious, but increasingly commonplace. Abolitionists, suffragists, civil rights activists, all of these brave people rejected political reality in favour of an idealistic and nigh-unattainable policy, and after a long hard fight and many lost battles, finally succeeded. And one pattern remains true to this day: there were always nay-sayers claiming they were fools who didn't understand political reality. But they understood that political reality can be changed. Heck, even Obama claimed to know this, once.
posted by mek at 3:14 PM on August 7, 2011 [7 favorites]


My eyes are wide shut. I shall not vote for the people who are inching towards what I want but are directly oppositional to it. That'll show 'em!
posted by P.o.B. at 3:16 PM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I think others might also be annoyed by people pointing that out since, you know, everybody is already aware of it."

If you're aware of it, then the comment might not be for you. The comment might be for the person who still doesn't understand that American elections are about picking the least worst candidate, and that discouraging people to vote because their interests aren't perfectly served only has the thin solace of knowing that a single person's vote really doesn't matter all that much in presidential elections.
posted by klangklangston at 3:17 PM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, let me apologize to anigbrowl (who I linked to in the "one person made such an accusation" part). That was actually Skygazer who said that; I mixed up anigbrowl's Hillaryis44/"Some liberals want to emulate the Tea Party" comment for that other, much stronger accusation.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:18 PM on August 7, 2011


If you're aware of it, then the comment might not be for you. The comment might be for the person who still doesn't understand that American elections are about picking the least worst candidate

No no, we are aware of the two party grip on power. The idea we should vote on that basis is in debate for various reasons for various people.

These people are all aware already of the lesser of two evils point of view, we don't need reminders of your opinion on it stated as fact every time. And we certainly don't need to be called idiotic and naive you holier than thou asshole.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:21 PM on August 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


This thread became shouty and cyclical, like a howler monkey in a teacup ride. Is there a MeMeTaTa?

There's a fundamental disconnect between the two main factions here. At the risk of coming off like an uninvited, intrusive meddler, I humbly suggest that people take a ten minute tea break and then write up a three paragraph-ish piece about what you're arguing and why you're arguing it. Then, write up a three paragraph-ish piece where, in as good faith as you can muster, you try to put down what the other side is saying and why they're saying it. Take a look at the two pieces together, and from that try to identify the core value clash that's at the heart of this long-running argument.

Treating this dispute like any other argument keeps devolving into long, hastily-composed flame wars where the same language and issues keep circling and circling and circling and circling, never quite meeting together for real.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:23 PM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Our votes are not at issue, nor under discussion, nor any of your business. If you're here to just canvass for the Democratic party, well, that explains the monotonous drone. I come here for interesting discussions. Perhaps our interests are not compatible.
posted by mek at 3:24 PM on August 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Can one hole be holier than another, regardless if it is on the ass or not?

Discuss.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:26 PM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fourth, if people like Poet_Lariat, who I assume I agree with broadly on policy goals, would like to actively work for those goals in ways that are productive, I'm more than happy to support that.

I know that you are not listening. Those who are listening might recall my story of participating in the Democratic Party's (OFA) push 2 years ago for , what was described to each and every OFA volunteer there, to be the public option --- only to discover that Obama and the Democratic Party had several months earlier made an agreement with Big Pharma to not enact a the public option in exchange for Pharma's support and some other concessions.

What kind of a fool would I have to be to continue to support a party that works explicitly against my interests and lies to me when I attempt to support them? I will work actively for a good third party Progressive candidate but I will never again be a patsy for the Democratic party.

But again, I know that you are not listening.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 3:29 PM on August 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't know whether to post this here or back in the thread,but...

I understand the "politically feasible" argument and viewpoint although, by and large, I disagree with it - as I argued in the thread, I think it automatically leaves too much on the table.

My question is this: If you are on the liberal end of things, and you think the proper way to tackle problems is to go for things that you have the votes for, what do you accomplish when the whole damn conversation moves to the right? Because that's what's been happening for a long time. I see that as an undeniable fact, but I've been known to be wrong a time or two before.

If the conversation is moving right, I have to see that as a losing formula. The solution, to my mind, is to at least start the argument much further to the left.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 3:36 PM on August 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


The right surely seems to understand how to implement my strategy, BTW.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 3:39 PM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


If the conversation is moving right, I have to see that as a losing formula. The solution, to my mind, is to at least start the argument much further to the left.

Yeah, I agree. I'd be more impressed with Obama's methods if there was a significant, contemporaneous grassroots/astroturf campaign to move the argument to the left. I also keep feeling like Obama too often plays only to his fellow politicos, without remembering that he can change the populace, as well. He let the right define the talking points for the health care deal.

There are so many ways that he could have aggressively refuted the lies said about his plans. He could have turned the country against health insurance companies more, as opposed to treating them like some sovereign nation with whom he must engage with a certain amount of respect for its boundaries. Instead, he took an artificially high road.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:42 PM on August 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dude, WTF? Point out one time I've done that, much less "repeatedly" or "several times now." I understand one person made such an accusation, but it wasn't me. Maybe I was too circumspect last time, but really, stop accusing me of doing things I'm not doing. It's disrespectful and uncalled-for.

At the very least, Rhaomi, in this most recent thread, you favorited anigbrowl's comment which accuses us of being GOP operatives. So you are doing this.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:59 PM on August 7, 2011


That's flat out bullshit.

Except that we quoted your lot doing this repeatedly in this most recent thread.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:01 PM on August 7, 2011


"These people are all aware already of the lesser of two evils point of view, we don't need reminders of your opinion on it stated as fact every time. And we certainly don't need to be called idiotic and naive you holier than thou asshole."

No, you need to be called a moron for acting like I called you naive when I pretty clearly didn't, asshole.

You also need to be called a moron for trotting out your same half-assed snark and for thinking that Sestak was any kind of progressive.

See? When I call you a moron, it's for moronic shit you've actually done! Which does, in fact, make me holier than thou. Take notes!
posted by klangklangston at 4:05 PM on August 7, 2011


"Except that we quoted your lot doing this repeatedly in this most recent thread."

"Your lot?"

You're not even trying, you hypocrite!
posted by klangklangston at 4:07 PM on August 7, 2011


"I know that you are not listening. Those who are listening might recall my story of participating in the Democratic Party's (OFA) push 2 years ago for , what was described to each and every OFA volunteer there, to be the public option --- only to discover that Obama and the Democratic Party had several months earlier made an agreement with Big Pharma to not enact a the public option in exchange for Pharma's support and some other concessions."

I sure am sorry for not keeping detailed notes on your personal experiences in organizing.

How, exactly, will not voting for Democrats lead to better outcomes here? What's the path?

Stop believing in a political Santa Claus. Work for local offices for candidates you support; vote for the least shitty option. (I repeated it again so George can get more furious.) Work on advocacy campaigns, especially local ones and ones with clearly-defined policy goals.

And do note that I have no problem saying that the Dems made a shitty bargain and that I have no problem saying that we should still be pushing for a robust public option.

But don't dick around with the passive-aggressive "not listening" bullshit.
posted by klangklangston at 4:12 PM on August 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


klangklangston : vote for the least shitty option.

If there is going to be any real change in this country it is not going to come from people like yourself. When positive change hopefully does come to this country, you simply will not be a relevant part of it.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 4:25 PM on August 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


No, you need to be called a moron for acting like I called you naive when I pretty clearly didn't, asshole.

Stop. This.

Take that shit to email or to therapy but calling each other assholes is sort of not okay here either.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:28 PM on August 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


No, you need to be called a moron for acting like I called you naive when I pretty clearly didn't, asshole.

Yes, you did. We have memories and the ability to quote here.

I think the idea that not voting for Obama will have better outcomes than voting for him, all else being the same, is idiotic and naive.

You are well aware of my opinions on this as you apparently keep detailed notes as we can gather from the rest of your post. However, you will not I said "we don't need to" not "I" and it was quite clear you are tossing the accusation at a group of people here.

You also need to be called a moron for trotting out your same half-assed snark and for thinking that Sestak was any kind of progressive.

Please note, this is the kind of thing some people are talking about here when bringing up the bullying down of opinion and dissent. We apparently disagree on a politicians degree of progressivism, a politician who was running against a career Republican, but instead of debating it let's just say the other side is a morons.

See? When I call you a moron, it's for moronic shit you've actually done! Which does, in fact, make me holier than thou. Take notes!


Are we past the point now where we can pretend this is all about: Catholics shouldn't be leaving the church in protest; it would be more effective to put pressure on the relatively small hierarchy who are knowingly abetting the abuse.


There are some here who will be entirely out of line and aggressive about this kind of thing, it was never some fantasy victim scenario. This stuff goes on over and over.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:36 PM on August 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm going to take a few deep breaths and a walk around the block. Just, y'know, vicariously.
posted by box at 4:38 PM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm going to hyperventilate and listen to speed metal in a fluorescent checkerboard room lit by strobe lights, all while jogging and being subjected to randomly-timed electric shocks of randomly-selected strengths. Just, y'know, vicariously.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:47 PM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


You're not even trying, you hypocrite!

Hopefully you have something to acknowledge about what we quoted about how we're all working for the GOP, but knowing you I doubt it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:50 PM on August 7, 2011


I really don't see the point of this thread remaining open for people to insult each other.
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:54 PM on August 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


I really don't see the point of this thread remaining open for people to insult each other.

I think we should keep this thread open so we can keep quoting all the times we've been called secret agents for Karl Rove. I think that would be very illustrative of the problem at the core of the behavior of Ironmouth, Rhaomi, anigbrowl and a few others who persist in what they are doing in Obama threads.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:58 PM on August 7, 2011


I hate to be all "I'm going to turn this thread around" about this, but if this doesn't turn into some non-accusatory discussion fairly soon we probably will close it. Up to you folks.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:00 PM on August 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


I apologize for calling you a holier than thou asshole, Klang.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:03 PM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm going to take a few deep breaths and a walk around the block. Just, y'know, vicariously.

Level 1: The High Road. Dick Rating: None.
posted by homunculus at 5:07 PM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hate to be all "I'm going to turn this thread around" about this, but if this doesn't turn into some non-accusatory discussion fairly soon we probably will close it. Up to you folks.

My vote's with closing it up. If throwing baseless accusations - no links to comments, no quoting, just flat-out "you did this you cad" - at other users is allowed to stand, that I'm afraid I'm going to have no choice but to out Brandon Blatcher for contending that 1984 was Van Halen's greatest album. I mean cmon dude.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:12 PM on August 7, 2011


no quoting

Fair enough, I'll re-quote just one example. This was among the worst hippy-punches in the original thread:

And let's be frank, quite a few of the class warriors here on MeFi who break out the term 'hippie punching' on a regular basis have a massive hard-on for the Tea Party. It reminds me of the lunatic fringe of Hillary Clinton supporters back in the 2008 primaries that turned out to be be part of the GOP campaign, clustered around websites like Hillaryis44.com - not to support Hillary Clinton at all, but to demonize Barack Obama from the left for the benefit of the right. Looks to me like some of them are still at it.

This is nothing other than an accusation that progressives on Metafilter are working for the right. It was written by anigbrowl and was favorited by Rhaomi, among others.

There are similar examples from the same thread, and there are countless examples from previous Obama threads, so this isn't some isolated incident but a pattern of crappy behavior from the same handful of people, time and time again.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:21 PM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm going to hyperventilate and listen to speed metal in a fluorescent checkerboard room lit by strobe lights

I'm going to drink a lot, beat my head against the wall, and jerk off to pictures of Norman Thomas.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:24 PM on August 7, 2011


goggles norman thomas,
he is hipmotyzin
posted by clavdivs at 5:33 PM on August 7, 2011


Blazecock Pileon: "At the very least, Rhaomi, in this most recent thread, you favorited anigbrowl's comment which accuses us of being GOP operatives. So you are doing this."

Blazecock Pileon: "This is nothing other than an accusation that progressives on Metafilter are working for the right. It was written by anigbrowl and was favorited by Rhaomi, among others."

I favorited that comment because of the part criticizing the "hippy punching" appeal to victimhood that was going on in that and other threads. Not the latter part.

In any case, I thought we were all pretty clear on the "favoriting ≠ wholehearted endorsement" idea. Certainly not enough to be accusing people of "repeatedly" doing something objectionable "several times" just because they favorited a single comment that (among other things) only arguably did the thing being objected to.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:43 PM on August 7, 2011


Okay, now we're at what a favorite means. Whatever.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:45 PM on August 7, 2011


That's fine Rhaomi, but in light of the rest of that comment and some other stuff that has been quoted is it entirely fair to say this is nothing but an appeal to victimhood?

I think we are in much more of a grey area than that at the least, right?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:47 PM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


he is hipmotyzin

AND HOW
posted by octobersurprise at 5:48 PM on August 7, 2011


If you can't own up to your own words how can you possibly understand what you are trying to say?
posted by Poet_Lariat at 5:50 PM on August 7, 2011


Considering you're using the fact that I favorited a comment to support statements like this:

Blazecock Pileon: " I think we should keep this thread open so we can keep quoting all the times we've been called secret agents for Karl Rove. I think that would be very illustrative of the problem at the core of the behavior of Ironmouth, Rhaomi, anigbrowl and a few others who persist in what they are doing in Obama threads."

...I think the meaning of a favorite is important, yeah. It's never been the case here that faving something implies 100% endorsement of everything said, yet you're accusing me of "call[ing] you secret agents for Karl Rove" based on just that idea. It's a crappy and baseless thing to do.

If you think I'm being as problematic as that in this or any other thread, point out where I've done so. If you can't, then quit repeatedly accusing me and lumping me in with people who you think are being disingenuous.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:54 PM on August 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


furiousxgeorge: "That's fine Rhaomi, but in light of the rest of that comment and some other stuff that has been quoted is it entirely fair to say this is nothing but an appeal to victimhood?"

It's not *nothing* but that, but when it's used as repeatedly and as inappropriately as it's been lately, I do get the sense that it's being used in part because it's a handy way to make the other person sound like they're bullying when they're merely disagreeing or being critical.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:00 PM on August 7, 2011


There are similar examples from the same thread, and there are countless examples from previous Obama threads, so this isn't some isolated incident but a pattern of crappy behavior from the same handful of people, time and time again.

I've honestly not seen any such pattern of accusing progressives of being GOP operatives. What I have seen are people who continuously defend the Obama administration, people who continually criticise it, and lots of other people in between these two points on the spectrum.

I'm not sure if this is because you bristle easily at progressives being argued at, or if that kind of thing just sorta makes me shrug - accusing a critic of the status quo of being some kind of Trojan horse mechanic for The Other Side is probably as old as politics itself.

But I really don't see what good it does to drift into the hyperbole of "you and you and you are BAD posters and you do X all the time". It seems like a comment destined to throw a wrench in the gears of the discussion and make people shouty, especially if you're not pulling out examples.

Again, if this sort of thing happens all the time, and I'm just totally clueless or something, so be it. Just don't know what you're trying to do here, that's all.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:08 PM on August 7, 2011


It's not *nothing* but that, but when it's used as repeatedly and as inappropriately as it's been lately, I do get the sense that it's being used in part because it's a handy way to make the other person sound like they're bullying when they're merely disagreeing or being critical.

Okay, sometimes it's used right and sometimes not. Let's look at that 7 out of 3000 comments thing. How many of those were valid complaints?

I'm not looking, let's just go hypothetical. Three of them were valid, four were inappropriate uses.

How does that compare with the at least three absolutely hippy punching comments in the next thread, which didn't even break 300?

If it's happening legitimately that commonly, how can we say a few complaints about it are too many?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:10 PM on August 7, 2011


especially if you're not pulling out examples

Several people have provided examples in this thread, as well as by others in all the other threads where we have had to hash out problematic accusations of conspiracy by Ironmouth et al.

If evidence in the form of direct quotations does not work, I am at a loss as to what else we can provide to demonstrate the issue that is causing this and past threads.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:15 PM on August 7, 2011


I think we should keep this thread open so we can keep quoting all the times we've been called secret agents for Karl Rove.

Ok

I really wonder if some users on Metafilter and other sites are fed talking points to criticize Wikileaks and Assange with, because in the last thread on this issue, I read someone using the "double game" talking point well before it was used elsewhere. It ended up in on NPR later in the afternoon in an interview with a military official who was criticizing Wikileaks and Pakistan. That same "double game" phrasing only ended up in the mainstream media two or three days later, so it wasn't some term that had been regurgitated elsewhere before it ended up here. I wouldn't be surprised at all to hear there was a low-level smear campaign in place, where people are compensated for planting misinformation and viral phrasing.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:36 AM on July 31, 2010

posted by the_artificer at 6:20 PM on August 7, 2011 [6 favorites]


Lesson learned: accusing people of being secret agents is only edgy or cool in movies with Tom Cruise.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:22 PM on August 7, 2011


Oh man, that is some Daily Show-level coldbusted. Roll 212!
posted by Rhaomi at 6:35 PM on August 7, 2011


well, yeah, let's dig up things on the people we disagree with and gloat about it

as long as no one calls it hippie-punching, we'll be ok, right?

close this damn thread up, already
posted by pyramid termite at 6:43 PM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh man, that is some Daily Show-level coldbusted. Roll 212!

Yeah! Coldbusted!!!11!! I accuse people of being double-agents in absolutely every single thread I go into, just like you and your pals!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:46 PM on August 7, 2011


Yeah, I think we're done here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:48 PM on August 7, 2011 [12 favorites]


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