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Goodbye, I'm leaving.... October 8, 2004 10:40 AM   Subscribe

I am going on sabbatical from Metafilter. In this political season, this place has become too close-minded, too vulgar, and too filled with people who complain. [MI]
posted by ParisParamus to MetaFilter-Related at 10:40 AM (81 comments total)

See my profile page for more. Bye for now.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:41 AM on October 8, 2004


I hope the President is reelected. I also pray that people become more open-minded.

Make up your mind.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:43 AM on October 8, 2004


(complain about members; not issues).
posted by ParisParamus at 10:47 AM on October 8, 2004


Oh my God. Does Matt know about this? Someone DO something!

/slap

Ow.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:57 AM on October 8, 2004


I did one of those sabbatical things too PP. Seriously, it's no bad thing. This place pisses me off at times, and when it pisses me off too much, I piss off.
posted by SpaceCadet at 11:04 AM on October 8, 2004


Yes, there are vulgar displays here. Of course now they'll be somewhat less frequent.
posted by substrate at 11:16 AM on October 8, 2004


Paris has a point that the election season has definitely kicked into hyperdrive on MetaFilter, as half the posts seemingly have something to do with it.

I'll also concede that I'm getting a bit tired of seeing folks slip even farther right and left of their typical positions, as I'm becoming more of a "stopped clock is right twice a day" guy lately.

I don't want Bush elected for a whole host of reasons, but I don't hate the guy as a person, and I even agree with a few of his positions. It seems like a lot of people on MetaFilter can't fess up to either of those things.

Also, please, I beg of you, don't make this a thread that just pokes fun at Paris.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:16 AM on October 8, 2004



I don't want Bush elected for a whole host of reasons, but I don't hate the guy as a person, and I even agree with a few of his positions. It seems like a lot of people on MetaFilter can't fess up to either of those things.


Matt:

I know you're trying to be the voice of reason, here, but aren't you being just a little too reasonable here? Just what do you agree with?

I've really, really tried, and I can't see this administration as anything but incompetent, hateful, and more than a little bit scary. I cannot find a single thing I agree with them on, other than the invasion of Afganistan, but even then they mucked it up with their ulterior motives. I cannot imagine a stupider group of people running the U.S., and I've been politically aware since Kennedy...

I'm not a bomb-throwing lefty, either, I'm a 45-year-old suburban dad. Is it the level of ugliness that's getting to you? Is that a reason to overlook the evil that's being done in our name?
posted by jpburns at 11:25 AM on October 8, 2004


...and I even agree with a few of his positions.

Which ones ?
posted by y2karl at 11:26 AM on October 8, 2004


PP is (IMHO) a poopyhead but I do agree with his sentiments as voiced in this post. I prefer Monkeyfilter these days, but I still view Metafilter more than any other site on the net. I'm sure things will settle down once this damn dirty election is over. There are rumours that it'll all be over by Christmas.
posted by chrid at 11:30 AM on October 8, 2004


It will definitely be a little less vulgar now.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 11:34 AM on October 8, 2004


Matt, a tangential request: Like you said, there are too many political posts nowadays and will continue atleast till Nov. 4, and even further, if "interesting" things happen.

Can you limit the US political posts on a daily basis? Barring truly breaking news, keep it to, say, 7 posts/day. Don't know too much about your setup, but require posters to start their page titles with "USPol: " or some such and have a variable keep count based on such a filter. On reaching 7, the posting page then displays a message echoing that no more political posts allowed (for that day).
posted by Gyan at 11:38 AM on October 8, 2004


Wait, I THOUGHT you left here.
posted by DBAPaul at 11:43 AM on October 8, 2004


...and I even agree with a few of his positions.

Which ones ?


really, I'm curious too. in a totally non-snarky way.

anyway, I'm always sorry whenever one of our wingnuts goes off sulking on the typical, self-imposed, regularly-broken hiatus.
I won't comment on the irony of MeFi's most irrational member whining about this place manners and open-mindedness.
posted by matteo at 11:45 AM on October 8, 2004


...and I even agree with a few of his positions.

Which ones ?


Maybe, none of our business.

There are a few of us out here who won't talk politics because political discourse is so hateful, kneejerk and odious these days that a reasonable person cannot seem to get a word in edgewise. Bush is not the second coming of the Antichrist, whether you agree with his positions or not, and as much as it pains me to say, Kerry is not Evil Incarnate either, as much as his opinions seem to me as graspable as a wet bar of soap.

If people could sit down, NOT INTERRUPT EACH OTHER and calmly discuss things, I honestly believe we would be closer to consensus than we would dare to guess.
posted by konolia at 11:49 AM on October 8, 2004


Can you at least come to the meetup, so we can give you a proper sendoff? In the nicest possible way.
posted by adampsyche at 11:57 AM on October 8, 2004


If people could sit down, NOT INTERRUPT EACH OTHER and calmly discuss things, I honestly believe we would be closer to consensus than we would dare to guess.

Errm, we're on a blog where comments are given in discrete chunks. How is it even possible to interrupt someone? :)
posted by unreason at 11:57 AM on October 8, 2004


Can you at least come to the meetup, so we can give you a proper sendoff? In the nicest possible way.

(NSFW)
posted by matteo at 12:02 PM on October 8, 2004


The one time that Bush really impressed me during the 2000 debates was when he said he was for a more modest foreign policy. My foreign policy views lean a little to the reserved side, and are conservative in that way - not isolationist, but informed by an awareness that any nation's power has limits, and that's it a honorable thing for leaders to be aware of it and act accordingly. I also think the best way to lead is by example So much for that in the U.S.

Lesson: I can agree with Bush sometimes. But I don't trust his motives much anymore, a feeling reinforced in just the past week. I don't see why it's necessary to look for the middle ground when faced when such a disaster as Iraq and Bush's unwillingness to admit any fault, or to cede good points re presonality, etc. People certainly go overboard on metafilter daily. And no one has a right to ask mathowie about his politics. Moderation is not, however, always a virtue. Cigarettes and crack are not good in moderation. Assaullting strangers is not good in moderation. (Long pause.) You get the picture. The trouble is remembering to be mature about the matter. Thankfully, Kerry and Edwards seem to be remembering that.
posted by raysmj at 12:06 PM on October 8, 2004


Imma pour out a 40 to show my respect...but seriously, does this mean you're not coming to the NYC meetup tomorrow?!
posted by naxosaxur at 12:08 PM on October 8, 2004


Errm, we're on a blog where comments are given in discrete chunks. How is it even possible to interrupt someone? :)

I wasn't limiting my point to this website. I am talking in general.
posted by konolia at 12:08 PM on October 8, 2004


I'm leaving too.
posted by Shane at 12:13 PM on October 8, 2004


Okay, I'm back.

Miss me?
posted by Shane at 12:13 PM on October 8, 2004


Shane, I don't know how I survived. Mother and I were worried sick.
posted by jonmc at 12:20 PM on October 8, 2004


Well, it was worth it. I feel much better now.
posted by Shane at 12:23 PM on October 8, 2004


'll also concede that I'm getting a bit tired of seeing folks slip even farther right and left of their typical positions, as I'm becoming more of a "stopped clock is right twice a day" guy lately.

You're the only one with the power to modify someone's behavior if they refuse to do so themselves. Either take action to change the situation or don't.
posted by darukaru at 12:26 PM on October 8, 2004


There are a few of us out here who won't talk politics because political discourse is so hateful, kneejerk and odious these days that a reasonable person cannot seem to get a word in edgewise.

Amen.

I recently considered a political post, but then I thought, "Am I adding to the discussion, or to the din?" I decided it was the latter. There are a number of people who should be asking themselves the same question, both before posting and commenting.
posted by me3dia at 12:27 PM on October 8, 2004


I'll third this question: you're not coming to the meetup tomorrow?

Seriously, come. we'll send you off in style (in a good way! sheesh).
posted by Stynxno at 12:28 PM on October 8, 2004


If people could sit down, NOT INTERRUPT EACH OTHER and calmly discuss things, I honestly believe we would be closer to consensus than we would dare to guess.

konolia:

I agree. That's why I posted this question, which got 2 real responses.
posted by callmejay at 12:33 PM on October 8, 2004


I'd like to take this opportunity to declare that I have been on a self-imposed semi-hiatus from this site for most of the last month and will probably not return to full-strength harassment of the denizens herein until after the USelections at the earliest.

In light of my seniority here (user #206) and my relatively advanced age and relatively short life expectancy, I would like, in the future, to be referred to as "Asshat Emeritus".

Thank you.
posted by wendell at 12:35 PM on October 8, 2004


There was this: I won't tell you my analysis until 35 people e-mail me and ask "Please, PP, please offer your analysis."

And this, as PP asked in a meetup thread, "If ParisParamus promised to appear, would that increase, or decrease attendance? And how much body armor would I need?" almost immediately followed by: "You guys are too young for me. I'll have nothing to say to you. I did this a few years ago, and it was just...very awkward..." (from here)

...and now this metatalk thread. The stench of this pattern is unmistakable-- PP is desperate for us to beg him to remain in the community despite his attacks on it. (And "attack" has nothing to do with the actual point of view, but rather the aggresive and often mean spirited presentations of that point of view.) If you need this much attention PP, perhaps you should get a canine companion.

Although, I'd like to defer to Matt's request that this thread not turn into a rant against ParisParamus, I have not seen this much parisitic neediness since the playground in 4th grade. Having an opposing political opinion: cool, share your viewpoint. Wanting to be the perenial center of attention via negative attention: go ahead, take your ball and go home.
posted by limitedpie at 12:43 PM on October 8, 2004


*moons wendell, too*
posted by matteo at 12:44 PM on October 8, 2004


Ummmm... I thought it was generally accepted that the best way to take a sabatical from metafilter was to just go, don't announce that you're taking your ball and going home.
posted by weston at 12:49 PM on October 8, 2004


I just read this: "Dante said that the hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who in time of crisis remain neutral..." here!

Interesting stuff...
posted by jpburns at 12:53 PM on October 8, 2004


Bye PP. Don't dish it out if you can't take it.

Bush is not the second coming of the Antichrist...
You're right konolia, that would be Ralph Reed. ; >
posted by amberglow at 1:07 PM on October 8, 2004


weston: I can only speak for myself in saying that I make it a rule to go when I say I'm going. Though, personally, I think it's generally rude to announce one's departure from a boisterious affair such as MeFi, as it tends to make one look like an attention-whore... not that I haven't been rude on occasion.

There's a subtle difference between folks I disagree with, even strenuously, but who I nevertheless am willing to accept are honest to themselves -- DavidMSC springs to mind. (Which is, after all, the hard part.) And then there are other folks who boggle my mind with their self-marginalization.

Some people get drunk and post -- but then they sober up. Some people have really strong opinions and get excited and say things they probably shouldn't, and they may or may not apologize. But they're not in the game to score dharma points by getting people to pay attention to them. And then, some folks are just energy creatures. So hard not to feed them, especially when they can be so amusing -- but then they grow up mean and unsocialized, just like that neighborhood dog they used to tease....
posted by lodurr at 1:16 PM on October 8, 2004


Sabbaticals from MeFi are fantastic. And that is not to dis the place whatsoever. It's just good to take a break here and there, and the nature of that break will probably depend on how involved you were in the first place. All things in moderation, no? But does it really need to be announced? It's not that important for one of 17000 to let us all know in the form of a post to MetaTalk that they are taking off for a bit.

Have fun. Come out to the meetup (they're fun, and I don't recall ever seeing an argument).
posted by adampsyche at 1:19 PM on October 8, 2004


PP is desperate for us to beg him to remain in the community despite his attacks on it.
Hope he has more pride than that. Sure you support Bush?
Honesty, I think he is looking for invisibility here - after coming back will have a fresh start with the members of the community. The reason I say this. Because I have been noticing his comments in non-political threads result in none or little comments back. The few comments are some what negative, yet I think they are said in jest. PP has a lot more in common with most members than one would think. Why do I defend him, not, just saying what I see.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:59 PM on October 8, 2004


Bush is not the second coming of the Antichrist

You're right. I tend not to look at politics through a religious perspective. He's just incompetent and lacks compassion for human life.
posted by The God Complex at 2:09 PM on October 8, 2004


"seeing folks slip even farther right and left of their typical positions"

Hey, how about us who are (former-) randroid (now-) libertarians bordering on anarchy?????
Oops, I seem to have stepped over that line as well. heheh ;-P
posted by mischief at 2:29 PM on October 8, 2004


Have fun. Come out to the meetup (they're fun, and I don't recall ever seeing an argument).
Best comment.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:31 PM on October 8, 2004


Bush is not the second coming of the Antichrist

I hope not. I would expect the real AntiChrist to possess actual competence, else why bother with the Rapture ?
posted by y2karl at 2:35 PM on October 8, 2004


Did anyone watch O'Reilly on the Daily Show yesterday? Somehow PP's sabbatical reminds me of that, when O'Reilly back-pedaled on his support of Bush. Seems like people with any common sense are withdrawing their support, so that they can appear prophetic (or at least un-lemming-like) when he loses.
posted by milovoo at 2:49 PM on October 8, 2004


I've taken a sabbatical before. Sometimes when the shit gets too personal... better to walk away for a while. But don't kid yourself: You're coming back.
posted by Keyser Soze at 2:52 PM on October 8, 2004


...and I even agree with a few of his positions.

Which ones ?


i like the one where he's hog-tied and propped over a stump, larded buttocks high and gleaming in the texas noon sun as lynndie england administers a high colonic with her curling iron. but that's just me.
posted by quonsar at 2:56 PM on October 8, 2004


...and I even agree with a few of his positions.

Which ones ?


Oh, no! Matt is being turned against us! In fact, it's a bit amusing that so many Bush Haters are taking concern at this amazing confession. Either they will have to shed all respect they held for Matt or help him to justify his strayed view.
posted by MrAnonymous at 3:14 PM on October 8, 2004


Is the curling iron turned on? Cuz that's how I see it. And the lard is flammable.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:15 PM on October 8, 2004


Sorry, I went off to a long lunch. Let me see here, stuff Bush does that isn't the worst thing in the world. How about a list:

- Taxes. Now that I have a home and pay a lot of taxes, I can see the classic republican (as opposed to Bush's corporate republican) mantra of keeping taxes low. That's not a bad idea in whole, and while I've voted for tax increases for school funding before, in general I see the value in keeping them low and only raising them as a last resort. I will gladly pay taxes if I could tell where the money is going, but otherwise they seem unfair at time (granted, I could have bought a small import car for the money I owed the IRS in april of this year).

- Offshoring. I wrote about this on my site, but I don't see the problem with moving jobs somewhere else and improving the lives of those in India, Asia, etc, while temporarily degrading our job market. We'll bounce back. We'll continue to be the innovators here at home. I'm not a "buy american" guy at all, prefering to live in a global economy and hearing Dennis Kucinich announce a "Buy American" law into congress makes me shudder.

I can't think of any others off the top of my head, but those are two core policies where I'm not 100% with the democratic party on.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:16 PM on October 8, 2004


Matt, as a local politican struggling to provide services to my constituents while simultaneously begging them to pass a property tax override next month, I can assure you that the overall universe of taxes does not shrink appreciably. If your federal taxes go down, your state taxes will go up to pick up the slack, because the feds won't be providing things that people want, and they will turn to the state to do it. If both your taxes go down (as they have in Massachusetts), your local taxes will have to go up if you want the same services. At that point, the local politicians are the ones who end up looking like "tax and spend liberals" because they want to raise the taxes that homeowners pay, so they can continue to provide police and fire services, and oh yeah, schools. Guess what, the mandates of the "no child left behind" act have NOT been funded by the Bush administration, leaving us even farther in the hole at the local level.


But that's just me.
posted by yhbc at 3:32 PM on October 8, 2004


I know taxes are important, but I'm talking about them in the abstract here. That I don't necessarily agree that if we want any sort of service, we should just add a bit of tax to something. Oregon has a pretty high income tax, but low local tax, and everyone seems to be struggling with budget cuts. The local democrats want to introduce bond measures and let people vote for taxes (something which no one in Oregon has approved in something like 50 years), while the republicans are always saying somewhere there must be waste that can be cut before resorting to taxes.

Like I said, I have voted for tax increases before, but I wish in general that democrats could be a bit more fiscally conservative. I mean, Clinton did balance a budget right? We need to do that more often when we can (in a recession and war isn't the best time).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:44 PM on October 8, 2004


I can't think of any others off the top of my head, but those are two core policies where I'm not 100% with the democratic party on.

As I suspected.
posted by y2karl at 3:55 PM on October 8, 2004



Like I said, I have voted for tax increases before, but I wish in general that democrats could be a bit more fiscally conservative. I mean, Clinton did balance a budget right? We need to do that more often when we can (in a recession and war isn't the best time).


If you want people to be fiscally conservative, my suggestion would be that you don't agree with the current Republican party about economics, even if you don't always agree with higher taxes. In addition, the administration is running on blanket tax cuts, while the Kerry group is running on lower taxes for everyone but those who earn over 200k a year. I can't understand how anyone but the top percent would think that's a bad idea.
posted by The God Complex at 4:43 PM on October 8, 2004


I can't think of any others off the top of my head, but those are two core policies where I'm not 100% with the democratic party on.

As I suspected.


You can relax y2karl. Matt is still the liberal leader you so desire, and your 1000 word essays are safe (as well as the other 30 rudundant bush sucks posts a day.
posted by justgary at 4:45 PM on October 8, 2004


You seem to have a related-to-that debate-thingy hair up your ass tonight.
posted by y2karl at 5:40 PM on October 8, 2004


I went on a sabbitical for almost a month and none of you bastards even noticed.
posted by timeistight at 6:09 PM on October 8, 2004


Don't let this thread become a place to "poke fun" about a vulgar, irrational turd who started this same thread to announce his self-centeredness and demonstrate his hypocrisy? What exactly are we supposed to discuss here?

On preview:

...I wish in general that democrats could be a bit more fiscally conservative.

This is an example of something you agree with George Bush about? The creator of the largest surplus-to-deficit turn around in world history? We are through the looking glass, people.
posted by squirrel at 8:00 PM on October 8, 2004


squirrel, the odd thing is, I actually met PP at my first ever meetup, and he seemed like a perfectly ordinary guy. Over the next three years his comments got nuttier and nuttier. Wish I could tell ya what's up with him, but I don't know.
posted by jonmc at 8:11 PM on October 8, 2004


Bush is not the second coming of the Antichrist

The antichrist comes once, according to Revelations. Are you admitting that Reagan was the first antichrist, but that now his death has made room for a second?

You might try actually reading that thing you wave around, konolia.

jonmc, I fully believe that pp's real-life counterpart may be a cool, funny, thoughtful guy. Who can know? This all we can know for sure: that in real life he's an abusive prick, or that he becomes one when given weblog anonymity.

Personally, I don't care if he's one or both; I just want him out of my life until he exits adolescence.
posted by squirrel at 8:49 PM on October 8, 2004


As a moderate liberal, I can tell you that all the (few but important) things that I expected I'd agree with Bush on, it turns out that I don't. Free trade? This administration is far less free-trade than Clinton's was. Fiscal conservatism (which doesn't mean "low taxes", it traditionally means "not being in debt")? This administration...oh, hell, I can't even talk about this one. I'm not averse to military action, I was happy about Afghanistan. And Yugoslavia. But the only competency this adminisration has militarily is, um, the military. BushCo are freaking idiots.

There's a big partisan ideological divide between Bush haters and supporters. But there shouldn't be: ideologically, practically, in every sense Bush isn't Reagan, for example. He's a clown, an incompetent, easily the worst president of modern times, even worse than Nixon (who was quite competent in many areas, in spite of being a paranoid nutball).

There's some weird fear-juju going on that's made so many people rally behind him since 9/11. But not too long after he loses this election—and he will—history will start being very unkind to the memory of Bush 43. In ten years, you won't find many Republicans/conservatives that will have much good to say of him.

Now that I've said that, since there's this weirdness of Matt defending an uttern moron, I'll go back to my scheduled lurking because, damn, MeFi certainly is USPoliFi these days, aint it?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:31 PM on October 8, 2004


good riddance
posted by jmgorman at 9:51 PM on October 8, 2004


Pooled health care purchasing power for small businesses isn't a bad idea. I think it's already failed to pass congress (big surprise as the insurance lobby is way against it), and I'm not sure why government is needed to make that happen anyway, but I can look at that and say yeah, maybe.

I like the idea of privatizing some social security. I don't think now is the time to do it as we look at unbelievably high deficits and a trust fund that's already been tapped to hide some of the debt, but in general, I'd prefer to have a choice in participating in social security.

On just about everything else though, I think Bush has been a disaster. This is certainly the most failed presidency of my lifetime and possibly of the country (though there could have been some failures I just don't know about from the 18th or 19th century).
posted by willnot at 10:38 PM on October 8, 2004


Errm, we're on a blog where comments are given in discrete chunks. How is it even possible to interr

Like that? :o)
posted by shepd at 1:59 AM on October 9, 2004


Please delete this pathetic cry for attention.
posted by scarabic at 2:13 AM on October 9, 2004


Ethereal Bligh:

Re: Free Trade and Clinton

NAFTA was negotiated, and signed on Bush, Sr.'s watch. It was signed on December 17, 1992, and took effect in early 1994.
posted by jpburns at 7:31 AM on October 9, 2004


jonmc, I fully believe that pp's real-life counterpart may be a cool, funny, thoughtful guy. Who can know? This all we can know for sure: that in real life he's an abusive prick, or that he becomes one when given weblog anonymity.

Don't misunderstand me, squirrel, I don't like whathe says here either. I'm just surprised that it's not coming from somebody in a tinfoil beanie.
posted by jonmc at 8:03 AM on October 9, 2004


He's perfectly nice via e-mail too. I'm at a loss to understand the disconnect between his "real" self and his MeFi persona.
posted by languagehat at 8:52 AM on October 9, 2004


jpburns: Congress approved NAFTA in 1993, and then Clinton signed on. If NAFTA would not have recieved the White House seal of approval, it wouldn't have become official.
posted by raysmj at 9:00 AM on October 9, 2004


What Clinton signed was the legislation passed by congress to approve and implement NAFTA. Bush senior signed the trade agreement. This was recent history and shouldn't be confused so soon.

Take a look at this and this for details.
posted by jpburns at 11:08 AM on October 9, 2004


Just Re: The original topic:

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY! Thank you, Santa, you gave me my xmas present early!
posted by SpecialK at 11:40 AM on October 9, 2004


(Now, if Quonsar got hit by a meteor, I'd know that I was really getting my value for my good karma...!)
posted by SpecialK at 11:41 AM on October 9, 2004


guess I'm late to the show, huh?

I am going on sabbatical from Metafilter.

Great! Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.

Really, Paris, your recent propensity toward sticking something to the effect of "Fuck most of you, I pray the president is re-elected and hope you reform" is record-breakingly condescending, simplistic, rude, and moronic. Take your time with the "sabbatical".
posted by azazello at 1:27 PM on October 9, 2004


bah! sticking something ... into every single political thread.
posted by azazello at 1:29 PM on October 9, 2004


jpburns: um, yeah. I was happy with Bush 41's vigorous support of NAFTA and free trade. Clinton continued that. Bush 43 has not. You seem to not be understanding my point. Free trade is typically, supposedly, a Republican issue, fought by the Dems. I disagree with the Dems on this issue. And the irony is that Clinton was in almost every respect far more active in promoting free trade and far less active in promoting protectionism. Bush 43 is an icontrovertably spectacular failure by two core Republican issues: trade and fiscal conservatism. There are two other core Republican issues: taxes and defense. He's arguably come through for the Repubs on taxes, except that the reality is that the tax cuts were very much not not targeted at middle-class and small-businesses. If you're a typical red-state Republican, the tax cuts are far more rhetoric than reality. If you're very wealthy, then Bush is your man. Defense? The military is underfunded for its current mission, understaffed, and morale is very low. We're unwinning a war that we already won because Bush's civilian war planners went against the advice and wishes of the career military planners. The overwhelming majority of America feels that the real threat is something like another 9/11, and has believed that Bush was fighting that threat. But every day the Bush administration's rationale for the Iraq war as being a response to 9/11 becomes weaker and nearly absurd. Meanwhile, bin Laden and Al Qaeda is still quite alive and operational. It is arguable, but there's lots of reasons to believe that the Bush admin has failed American's security needs and its military.

That means that perhaps one, or two-halves, of the Republican's four core issues have been satisfactorily promoted by the administration. At least two of them have been actively undermined.

On cultural issues? Look at gay marriage, for example. The Bush admin has supported a Constitutional amendment that it knows is almost certain to not pass (and it's not even making it out of Congress) rather than to push practical measures that might be supported and could perhaps halt the "threat" of gay marriage. Style over substance, rhetoric over reality is again clearly the priority for them. Stem cells? Okay, that one is a pretty unambiguous cultural "win" for them. I'd bet you anything, though, that it was a calculated move, early in the administration, to hand something tangible to the Christian conservatives that the admin thought would not have too many downsides. Now, though, I bet you they regret it and would change it if they could. But who knows? They've toed the line on stem cells. Wow. Big battle of culture wars, eh?

There is very little reason for Republicans and conservatives to support this president and his administration. Yet they do. And the reason they do is not because he's actually implemented their favored policies, for the most part, or been a real standard-bearer for their cause. It's because, mostly, they believe that Bush is an evangelical Christian conservative from Texas and thus must necessarily be a real red-meat, red-state President. 9/11 acted like a sort of psychological concrete; encasing, entombing that belief.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:25 PM on October 9, 2004


jpburns: Congress still would've had to pass a new bill when Bush took office, or overridden his veto at the time, to get NAFTA into effect. That was basically what I said. No history lesson needed, thanks. W would've signed such legislation too, but Congress would've had to start all over again. And from what I recall - I was around then, and aware - Clinton's support caused a big ruckus within his own party, and gaining support from many Dems had been like pulling teeth. The unions weren't too thrilled with Clinton for a while after that. That disillusion at least contributed to the loss of the House in '94, given how it had much to do with the health care plan's death of a thousand cuts.
posted by raysmj at 10:30 PM on October 9, 2004


Matt, I've been an independent voter my whole life because I hate all the US political parties, especially the Big Two.

I think that fiscal conservatism by governments is a good idea. However, the US Republican Party is not practicing this at all at the moment, and they're even having a hard time preaching it in the fact of the evidence.

So it's hard for me to see how you actually do support Bush on this. What the current administration is basically doing is the moral equivalent of getting a cash advance on your credit card and then giving your kids a couple of bucks so you feel like a good daddy. It's not rational.

However, your thing about offshore jobs seems consistent; on the other hand, the Bush Administration has done a few big flip-flops on protectionism so far. I can see that the rhetoric of Kerry/Edwards about "keeping jobs in the US" doesn't appeal to you, but I can't imagine that the actual policies of the Bush Administration do, either.

Until recently, I felt that there were some perfectly good reasons that I understood for people to be Republicans--they believed in fiscal conservatism, smaller government, and lower taxes. And then there were people who were against abortion, which though I don't understand, I accept as a philosophical position.

Right now, though, the Republican Party is betraying its tradition of fiscal conservatism and smaller government. One has to have a pretty strong commitment to lower taxes and ending abortion to be able to look past that, I would think!

Conversely, I'm not sure why people want to be Democrats anymore, except that it's Not-Republican. I guess the Democrats stand for reinforcing the social safety net and letting people do whatever they want with their pee-pees. It's not a compelling political philosophy, either.

(Of course, my real goal in life is for everyone in the US to be an independent like me. Then maybe we could get rid of the tiresome primary system and all that other assorted nonsense, and just have a six-week campaign period like every other civilized country!)
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:48 PM on October 9, 2004


There's a bunch of other possible ideologies aside from classic American leftism (socialism-lite—note the economic emphasis) and classic American conservatism (puritanism-lite—note the cultural emphasis). American libertarianism is the most obvious here in the US (and it certainly isn't the only variety of liberatarianism, either). So, being "something" is not necessarily the same as being opposed to some other thing, and being opposed to something is not necessarily the same as being opposed to what that thing isn't. Furthermore, to not be something isn't the same as being opposed to everything it's not, and vice-versa. These formulations are false that say that, well, if Dems aren't really like what we think Dems are supposed to be, then they're Repubs. Or, alternatively, if they're not what Dems are supposed to be like, they must be defined only in not being Repubs. Or whatever.

I don't know what the most meaningful dimensionality is that describes the American political "space". I do know that it's more than one-dimensional as a line, and more than two-dimensional like the various grids we often see.

I personally define "ideology" as a all-encompassing, over-simplifying explanatory principle that provides individual people psychological comfort. I dislike them. But there are many varieties of them under the sun. Furthermore, there are more modest, or more carefully applied, or just a scheme of more and less dominant intellectual/moral principles that can guide a worldview. That a person's beliefs don't comform to the usual placement on a line, or one of the grids, or can't be fit into a conventional ideology certainly does not mean that the views are necessarily haphazard or unprincipled or undifferentiated or meaningless.

Most people's political views of other people and the world are very like the view of the stars in the night sky. The view is highly contingent upon the viewing location and the reduction of three dimensions to the two dimensions of a surface. So we get constellations. Those two stars are part of Sagitarrius, they're "near" each other. Those other two stars are far apart. But from another perspective, they're quite far apart. The constellations tell us more about where we are relative to them (and that only minimally) than about where the stars are relative to each other. The left/right political spectrum is just another line artificially connecting two mostly unrelated points to make a pretty picture in someone's imagination.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:30 AM on October 10, 2004


nice hiatus
posted by angry modem at 11:19 PM on October 10, 2004


nice hiatus
He only said Meta-Filter. Now to see if my hunch { think he is looking for invisibility here - after coming back will have a fresh start with the members of the community. The reason I say this. Because I have been noticing his comments in non-political threads result in none or little comments back.} is correct.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:47 PM on October 12, 2004


You're wrong, thomcatspike. The turd is on the run again. What a fucking... ah, there is no other word--what a turd.
posted by squirrel at 8:18 AM on November 2, 2004


Thanks, squirrel, for making two posts to let us know that you think ParisParamus is a turd.

Because your observation was novel, unpredictable, and surprising.
posted by trharlan at 9:46 AM on November 2, 2004


My last post was to observe that the turd hasn't backed up the promise (not to post in the blue) that he started this thread to make.

As to unpredictable... remember that insanity is defined by the repetition of a behavior with the expectation of a new result. As long as the turd continues to piss on this site, people will bitch about it. Why should that surprise you?

Through this particular lie, though, the turd has sunk to a new low, which is a kind of novelty.
posted by squirrel at 4:19 PM on November 2, 2004


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