They're identical "look at these assholes" posts.... October 26, 2010 5:53 PM   Subscribe

"It's an awful scene and I know it's making the poliblog rounds, but it's also basically "here is an awful thing that happened" without any meat to it and folks who are paying any attention to this election cycle are pretty likely to see it themselves at TPM or elsewhere." This seemed like a reasonable deletion reason to me. So, I'm confused as to why the second Rand Paul Curb-Stomping post is less deleteworthy than the first, considering that they're basically identical links to a story on left-wing blog?

I held off on saying anything, assuming it would also be deleted. But since Jessamyn has now commented in the thread, it appears it's going to survive.
posted by zarq to Etiquette/Policy at 5:53 PM (160 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Slightly less grar in the second one and less above-the-fold graphic violence but honestly, we discussed it, figured that some post about the stomping was going to survive and decided that this post was less shitty. Keep in mind that we figured if it stayed, there would be a MeTa thread. If it got deleted, there would be a MeTa thread. Having that thread open, during "normal" hours for us where we can keep an eye on it, beats having a worse one come up at 2 am.

And yeah, it's disappointing. I'm disappointed. But maybe you've noticed it's been a busy evening in MeTa tonight and we made a decision to leave the less-bad post up and take the fallout from that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:58 PM on October 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Today's been crazy fucking busy, we're both tired, and between the story has developing into a bit more than "here is a terrible video" and the fact that people really really seem to want to talk about it, we decided to wait and see and not play whack-a-mole with it.

I do not think it's a great post. I don't know what exactly a great post about it would look like and am not sure a good one is in the offing. It's basically very narrowly on the don't-delete side of the line and most of that is just being pragmatic about the context and the fact that I don't want to stay up till one in the morning chasing down dupes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:59 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I figured because the topic is morphing from "ugly news of the day" to something more substantial now that it's come to light that the assailant was a member of Paul's campaign, instead of some random schlub. With the election so near, the rise in the levels of poisonous, violent rhetoric and behavior -- much of it intentionally stoked by the Republican Party -- is something worth discussing.

(And now I'm bummed that my 10,000th favorite had to come from such an awful, repulsive topic. At least my third Mefi-versary is in a few days.)
posted by Rhaomi at 6:02 PM on October 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


Slightly less grar in the second one

Do you mean that it started out with less grar? Because, er...Right now, even with mod intervention, not so much.
posted by Gator at 6:03 PM on October 26, 2010


Yes, I mean it was written with less grar.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:05 PM on October 26, 2010


a simple matter of phrasing IMO
posted by clavdivs at 6:05 PM on October 26, 2010


Ok. Question answered. Thank you both.

I don't like the post, but now that I understand what's going on I can live with it by moving on. The original was like fingernails on a chalkboard to me, and I was very surprised a second version survived.

But maybe you've noticed it's been a busy evening in MeTa tonight and we made a decision to leave the less-bad post up and take the fallout from that.

If you would prefer to close this up, please feel free. I'd really rather not add to your stress unnecessarily.
posted by zarq at 6:06 PM on October 26, 2010


With all due respect, then you could have MeMailed us. Closing threads carries its own problems.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:06 PM on October 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


(And now I'm bummed that my 10,000th favorite had to come from such an awful, repulsive topic. At least my third Mefi-versary is in a few days.)

Congratulations! :)
posted by zarq at 6:07 PM on October 26, 2010


With all due respect, then you could have MeMailed us. Closing threads carries its own problems.

Ugh. I'm sorry. :(

Will keep that in mind in the future.
posted by zarq at 6:08 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


So, I'm confused as to why the second Rand Paul Curb-Stomping post is less deleteworthy than the first, considering that they're basically identical links to a story on left-wing blog?

Well, actually, the story has attracted front-page and significant media attention internationally since the first FPP -- with additional information about the folks invloved (aka political thugs).
posted by ericb at 6:14 PM on October 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


I thought the first thread should have stood, and was trying to decide if I should make a post here to say so, when the new one popped up with even more compelling info. If only one of them can stick around (and I can't see why we would need two) I'm glad that it is the one with the Even Bigger News that is left, so I think it worked out.
posted by paisley henosis at 6:15 PM on October 26, 2010


zarq: "Congratulations! :)"

Thanks. And hey, yours is close too! ♫♪ Celebrate good times come on ♫♪
posted by Rhaomi at 6:17 PM on October 26, 2010


What ericb said.
posted by Artw at 6:19 PM on October 26, 2010


Someone needs to make a flash whack-a-mole game but replace the moles with sensationalist GRAR! posts. Then we can all get a little taste what it's like to be a MetaFilter mod.
posted by Jacqueline at 6:19 PM on October 26, 2010


Well, actually, the story has attracted front-page and significant media attention internationally since the first FPP -- with additional information about the folks invloved (aka political thugs).

So the difference between a "look at these assholes" post that should die and one that should survive is the level of media attention?

That makes no sense to me.
posted by zarq at 6:23 PM on October 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


That makes no sense to me.

The level of inevitability is the thing, for us anyhow. At first it seemed like maybe it was a "look at these assholes" sort of thing and then it became apparent that it wasn't just a "poli blog flip out" situation it was integral to that particular campaign and was getting major media attention which made it more likely to get filtered on to MeFi so that people could talk about it.

At that point our calculus is more like "If we're going to have a post on this topic, is this one okay or should we delete it and basically tell people interested in this topic to make a better one, with the possible side effect that they will, in fact, make a worse one in the middle of the night and call us assholes in the process?"

I'm just explaining how this one went. There is not and is not going to be a set of rules you can always follow to figure out why a post was deleted while another similar post stayed but you can always ask us and we will always tell you how we made our decisions.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:28 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


zarq, step away from the plate of beans, please :-p

Sometimes the mods let crappy posts stay up if people really want to talk about something. It's sort of like they leave a crappy playpen up as long as we promise to keep the shit contained. Or something.
posted by nomadicink at 6:29 PM on October 26, 2010


I wonder if Germans in the early 1930s argued over minutia like this before the Nazis took over.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:37 PM on October 26, 2010 [7 favorites]


Zero to Godwin in under twenty comments. Not a record, but still impressive.
posted by Gator at 6:39 PM on October 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'd just like to add 'grar' to the list of words I wish would die. (no offense, jess)
posted by jonmc at 6:40 PM on October 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


None taken, it's lazy shorthand really.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:44 PM on October 26, 2010


Jessamyn: I'm just explaining how this one went. There is not and is not going to be a set of rules you can always follow to figure out why a post was deleted while another similar post stayed

True.

...but you can always ask us and we will always tell you how we made our decisions

That's fair. Thank you again. Next time, I'll memail.

Nomadicink: zarq, step away from the plate of beans, please

Believe me, this isn't something I'm obsessing over. I was asking for clarification, got it and am done.

And on preview of BP's comment, yes, very much done.
posted by zarq at 6:46 PM on October 26, 2010


Sorry for drawing your attention to the horror of reality. I, for one, am usually loathe to make political posts (seriously: check my posting history, it is mostly sci-fi, rock and or roll, etc.) but this is not politics, it is bigger than that. Sorry.
posted by joe lisboa at 6:54 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thank God you're here joe.
posted by nomadicink at 6:59 PM on October 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Thanks, nomadicink. Unless you are kidding. I cannot even tell anymore :)
posted by joe lisboa at 7:00 PM on October 26, 2010


Okay, you are kidding. I forgive you. :)
posted by joe lisboa at 7:01 PM on October 26, 2010


And yeah, it's disappointing. I'm disappointed.

Again, sorry to put the mods out. I wish I did not feel compelled to post this, inasmuch as I wish it did not actually fucking happen. It is not like I have nothing better to do. Sorry for the tone, but do not take this shit out on me. This is real and -- to paraphrase -- it is happening.

Bummer, I know.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:14 PM on October 26, 2010


Sorry for drawing your attention to the horror of reality.

You really don't want to go there with me.
posted by zarq at 7:24 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know, complaining about Godwinization of these kinds of threads is really kind of besides the point, because there really are some striking parallels between the emerging Tea Party story and the very early days of the Nazi party. That is not to say that Palin is Hitler or that the TP (heh) is going to turn into the Nazi party, but really there *are* parallels and I feel we should be allowed to bring them up without eye-rolling.
posted by unSane at 7:25 PM on October 26, 2010 [12 favorites]


You really don't want to go there with me.

Sorry, forgot for a moment there that this was all about you. Carry on, sweet snowflake.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:26 PM on October 26, 2010


This seems to be happening a lot lately. I have a proposed solution/pony:

grar.metafilter.com

Suggested pony features:

1. Mods should be able to send selected posts off into the Grar

2. Add a Note to the New Post page that contains a continually updating list of "Topics Banished to the Grar" so that MeFites will know to just go over there instead of trying to make another FPP about it

3. Anyone clicking on the Grar side of the site will have their IP address automatically, temporarily banned from accessing the rest of MetaFilter until they go through a mandatory 20-minute "cool down" period during which they must watch a video of kittens and puppies playing together adorably
posted by Jacqueline at 7:27 PM on October 26, 2010 [8 favorites]


there really are some striking parallels between the emerging Tea Party story and the very early days of the Nazi party.

Be that as it may, what does it have to do with this thread?
posted by Gator at 7:29 PM on October 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


That is sweet of you, Jacqueline, but this is an important story. And, frankly, I do not need your condescension about what constitutes a proper post. I follow the insider-baseball that is MeTa. But, whatever. It is not like it is your head being curb-stomped. God forbid we use language to talk about what is happening, or that it is happening. But .. ETSY! KITTENS! etc. HAR-HAR.

har.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:30 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


That was uncalled for, on my part. Apologies. Sincerely. I am walking away for a spell.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:32 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know what helps me relax after a rough day on the web?

Tacos.

And pills, lots of pills.
posted by nomadicink at 7:32 PM on October 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sorry for drawing your attention to the horror of reality.

You don't want to go there with me either.

If you want to come back and talk about this, please feel free. In the meantime you are acting like someone whose idea of what is really important trumps everyone else's. There are 50,000 people here, most of whom are passionate about something. Giving them all a place where they can talk about the things they care about without being assholes to each other is part of what makes this place special to a lot of people.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:37 PM on October 26, 2010 [12 favorites]


Noted. Still objecting to the histrionics of the objection by zarq, but noted.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:39 PM on October 26, 2010


Zero to Godwin in under twenty comments.

Anyone who isn't seeing a clear potential connection between the anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-liberal fury currently being stoked on the right and the situation in pre-1932 Germany is 1) not paying attention 2) ignorant of essential 20th-century history or 3) both.
posted by mediareport at 7:39 PM on October 26, 2010 [30 favorites]


Be that as it may, what does it have to do with this thread?

It's fascinating (in a chilling way, perhaps) to see people piddling over wording whilst the empire is so obviously aflame.

Still, if that tired Godwin ever passes on into the aftermeme, I'll pour the first round at the wake.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:43 PM on October 26, 2010


Histrionics? What the fuck, joe? I know histrionics when I see them and I think you're the one being histrionic.
posted by kalessin at 7:43 PM on October 26, 2010


I am seriously happy to have dual citizenship. It is comforting to know I can live and work in any EU member country without restriction
posted by mlis at 7:45 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Upon further reflection, jessamyn, I fail to fully grasp the extent of your objections, either. I do not know if you fell complicit (having commented in said thread) or what, and I do not mean that in a malicious or mean-spirited way, I assure you, I just do not see my comments as somehow trivializing the personal experiences of horror for every single MeFite ever. I could be wrong and, again, I mean no harm, I just think the reaction is a bit out of proportion. No worries, though, I am willing to leave well (or poor) enough alone. Just kinda taken aback by the (to me) defensive crouch assumed by the mods in response to a post about a Senate candidate representative stomping the head of an ostensible consituent. It struck me as troubling at best. That is all.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:47 PM on October 26, 2010


Histrionics? What the fuck, joe? I know histrionics when I see them and I think you're the one being histrionic.

Yeah, probably. Which is why I apologized and attempted to step back. Just do not understand calling out a post about this subject matter given the gravity. Much love to you and yours.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:48 PM on October 26, 2010


If you are going to step back, it would behoove you not to take a parting shot.
posted by kalessin at 7:50 PM on October 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Kalessin, that was not a parting shot. When I wish you and yours love, it is the furthest thing from a parting shot I can imagine. I am sorry you took it that way.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:51 PM on October 26, 2010


Just do not understand calling out a post about this subject matter given the gravity.

As I said previously, EVERYONE thinks their own personal topics are the most important ones. I am not even arguing with you that this is important to many people. However, the claim that "it needs to be an FPP because it's real, it's really real, it's important" is not alone enough to make a post decent, or to make a decent post.

Your post was less terrible than the other one and we figured people would keep posting about that topic until we stopped deleting them, so we stopped early. We're tired, and that's how it worked. There's no defensive crouch, there's a pragmatic explanation and a somewhat confused "why are you acting out in this thread?" raised eyebrow.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:52 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anyone who isn't seeing a clear potential connection between blah blah blah

So maybe post about all that in a thread that it's relevant to?
posted by Gator at 7:53 PM on October 26, 2010


"I am sorry you took it that way." is not the kind of apology that I call genuine and sincere. Generally I'd expect someone who was genuinely sincere to say "I'm sorry I worded it poorly."
posted by kalessin at 7:53 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's no defensive crouch, there's a pragmatic explanation and a somewhat confused "why are you acting out in this thread?" raised eyebrow.

Sorry, and thanks for the explanation. This just shook me up in a visceral way. Honestly did not mean to make it all about me, appearances notwithstanding.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:53 PM on October 26, 2010


I am sorry I worded it poorly, kalessin.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:54 PM on October 26, 2010


I hardly think zarq was calling you out, joe. Seemed like he was just a little tired with how shitty the reality in the States has gotten in the past year or so. Surely that's not a crime.
posted by Phire at 7:54 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


So maybe post about all that in a thread that it's relevant to?

Dude, you're the one who Godwinned here.
posted by mediareport at 8:00 PM on October 26, 2010


Just kinda taken aback by the (to me) defensive crouch assumed by the mods in response to a post about a Senate candidate representative stomping the head of an ostensible consituent.

Well, we work on a community website nominally dedicated to people sharing neat things they found on the web. We don't work for a news organization or a political activism group; our job is to try and keep this weird broad social club working, not to rally the troops.

So, yes: a not-that-much-better redo of a very thinly-presented deleted post puts us in a position where the reality of what our actual job is and what this place is actually for makes that redo a no-win. We can delete it and deal with people upset with the deletion and an inevitable third post, or we can let it stand and deal with people understandably confused by us letting stand something not a whole lot better than the thing we deleted. It's a crappy position to be in. I don't know if that's a defensive posture so much as fucked-both-ways posture, really, but another big part of our jobs is explaining why we do what we do.

I understand that it's a shocking, fucked up thing that happened. I think it's more of a story this afternoon/evening than it was this morning. I think you and I probably are pretty much on the same page about most of the actual situation. That said, I do not think your post about it was particularly good at all and I think you're sort of failing to separate your strong feelings about that external ugly thing that happened from the reality that this place is not a dedicated outlet for housing those strong feelings.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:00 PM on October 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Dude, you're the one who Godwinned here.

It's my understanding that the person who mentions Nazis is the one who Godwins, not the person who subsequently mentions Godwin.
posted by Gator at 8:09 PM on October 26, 2010


I do not think your post about it was particularly good at all and I think you're sort of failing to separate your strong feelings about that external ugly thing that happened from the reality that this place is not a dedicated outlet for housing those strong feelings.

You are right, Josh. Thanks to you and Jessamyn for the perspective check. Sorry to make you all work overtime on this. I just hope the fact that this is my first (even remotely) political post is sufficient evidence of the fact that I do not and will not make this a habitual practice on my part. Sincerely.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:12 PM on October 26, 2010


It's my understanding that the person who mentions Nazis is the one who Godwins

You're behind the times.
posted by mediareport at 8:13 PM on October 26, 2010


Noted. Still objecting to the histrionics of the objection by zarq, but noted.

I'm not going react to this beyond this comment, but it would be nice if you would clarify whether your original apology was for Jacqueline, but not for me.

This wasn't histrionics. This wasn't a callout. I deliberately didn't mention you by name in my post. And it truly wasn't personal.

I'm uninterested in escalating this into an argument in which you defend the honor of your post. And I truly regret making this post in the first place, now that I see the headache it's giving the mods. :(
posted by zarq at 8:14 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


unSane: "there really are some striking parallels between the emerging Tea Party story and the very early days of the Nazi party"

Well, look: Yes and no. In order to figure out the Nazi party -- in a basic way -- you have to go back to 1870 and the Franco-Prussian war at a minimum. You'd have to know about Bismark and the Kulturekampf and why Deutschland uber alles was a hopeful sign of reconcilliation, just to set the scene.

Basically I see where you're going, and I can see the signs that would get you to say that, but the Tea Party is closer to a Stahlhelm or Trutzbunde group of the Weimar Republic than Nazis if you're talking about relative timelines and actions and such.

Really the most worrying thing to me -- and I know this is probably not going to resonate -- is that the people speaking for the Tea Party claim on a fairly regular basis that there is no organization to the Tea Party, or that there is no leader to the Tea Party. There's a sort of pressure build-up there, right? The party demands change, we need different leaders; vote out the bums, etc: but there's no Man on a Horse to ride in, at least not yet. What this means is that if the Tea Party gains sufficient momentum there will by necessity be a crisis of leadership. You might say that we are pre-Chancellor Bruening in a hand wavey sort of sense. Even pre-WWI in a real sense: there were a series of putsches from penny-ante yahoos that hastened the eventual rise of the Nazis.

This is not to say that your worries are unfounded, or that the Tea Party is not a weird and dangerous political entity, but rather to say that there were an entire line of curb-stomping bully boys grasping at power before Hitler could sweep in.
posted by boo_radley at 8:17 PM on October 26, 2010 [7 favorites]


My bad, zarq. MeMail for details.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:17 PM on October 26, 2010


So maybe post about all that in a thread that it's relevant to?

Sorry that you disagree, but it is a perfectly relevant topic here.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:18 PM on October 26, 2010


How on Earth do you figure? It's a Why Wasn't This Deleted thread, not Yet Another Let's Talk About the Tea Party thread, of which there are already plenty on the Blue, where they (arguably) belong.
posted by Gator at 8:21 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


"It's fascinating (in a chilling way, perhaps) to see people piddling over wording whilst the empire is so obviously aflame."
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:24 PM on October 26, 2010


Yeah, no, really, you're going to have to do better that "well the Nazis hated foreigners" -- your own life concerns will have to be along the lines of "will I be able to to buy a pound of chicken with the six thousand dollars I earn today before the price goes up to ten thousand dollars a pound? Better get my kids out of school so they can cash my day's paycheck and send them straight to the the market."

Again, this is not to say that the TP is not bad news and times are not bad, but the parallel is still fairly weak.
posted by boo_radley at 8:32 PM on October 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Americans don't need hyperinflation to lose their minds. They just need to be told Mexicans are coming to take their jobs.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:40 PM on October 26, 2010


Heckuva day on the MeTatubes.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:42 PM on October 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


the parallel is still fairly weak

With these criteria, history will have to repeat itself in entirety before some will ever be convinced.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:44 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Munich is MILES away!
posted by Artw at 8:45 PM on October 26, 2010


And it's pronounced München!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:46 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


"That was uncalled for, on my part. Apologies. Sincerely. I am walking away for a spell."

If it makes you feel better, I totally read it as friendly faux-cattiness and even clicked + in appreciation before I scrolled down and saw that you felt the need to apologize for it!

Apparently I am just too dense to be insulted!
posted by Jacqueline at 8:50 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nah, I am too dense to be leveling insults at anyone these days. My bad.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:52 PM on October 26, 2010


Weimar inflation was a relatively small parrt of the Nazi party's rise to power. By the time they were becoming a serious electoral proposition, the economy was not doing that badly. The real story is that they were continually accommodated by the more centrist political elements, who continued to believe they could manage the Nazis by have them inside the tent pissing out rather than the other way round.

Obviously the parallels are never perfect. History doestn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme. The TP have access to the media in a way that the Nazi party had to construct for itself. But there are many other parallels beyond the brownshirts and the racial paranoia. Hitler, for example, was notorious for living off political contributions, and the anti-intellectual vitriol of the Nazis was breathtaking. They railed against sexual impropriety while privately tolerating the most extreme kinds of debauchery.

Again, I'm not saying the TP are necessarily the Nazis in ovo. But the rhyming couplets are coming thick and fast, and therefore complaining that mentioning the Nazis in a TP thread is simple Godwinization is missing some of the point.
posted by unSane at 8:52 PM on October 26, 2010 [9 favorites]


To give you a positive indicator of Bad Times (positive in the sense of "this is a sign" rather than "those things are not a sign" as I've been wriitng) : you'd have to see, on a national level, a political party arresting an opposing party's candidate. Or, you'd have to see e.g. the the Senate electing peers directly rather than state citizens or (for emergencies, etc) whatever state laws govern replacing them.

On preview:

Blazecock Pileon: "With these criteria, history will have to repeat itself in entirety before some will ever be convinced."

Yes, yes. What are your examples? The curb stomping? The general rancor? Help me understand where you're coming from.
posted by boo_radley at 8:53 PM on October 26, 2010


Thanks. And hey, yours is close too! ♫♪ Celebrate good times come on ♫♪

Holy crap. I didn't realize.

I do keep an eye on it, but never think much about the number. Will have to pay more attention now! :)
posted by zarq at 8:53 PM on October 26, 2010


(Also, I agree that it is an important story. My half-joking/half-serious pony suggestion was less about the posts/topic this particular MeTa thread is about, and more about how much time the mods seem to be spending these days playing whack-a-mole with multiple posts on grary topics. I do sincerely wonder if there's a way to give MeFites a place to go get their grar on without the ugliness spilling over and contaminating the nice mellow vibe we've going going on on the rest of the site.)
posted by Jacqueline at 8:55 PM on October 26, 2010


"What this means is that if the Tea Party gains sufficient momentum there will by necessity be a crisis of leadership."

As I posted in another thread: I should run for Senate, because apparently any whackjob in a skirt can get on the Republican ticket these days.

(power vacuum... so very tempting to play with... must... resist...)
posted by Jacqueline at 9:03 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


What are your examples?

Deeply-threaded tendrils of isolationism, xenophobia, homophobia, violent intimidation and — as this last case shows — actual acts of violence promoted by corporatist cults of personality within the Tea Party organization have become pretty well documented by this point, so I'm not sure what's gained writing out a long list of links.

Either you agree that these traits are inherent to the Tea Party and its membership, or you don't. If you don't, then I sincerely doubt any evidence I could present would convince you otherwise. At this point, I doubt I could surpass the threshold of evidence demanded in order to demonstrate that said principles are at the heart of the TP political movement.

The parallels between the Tea Party and classic Fascist movements are there. I don't comprehend the energy spent at denying said parallels, honestly.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:17 PM on October 26, 2010 [10 favorites]


You can add to that anti-intellectualism, a pervasive victimology and a confused but mystic sense of nationhood ('volk', 'real americans'), plus a complete willingness to invert or ignore the facts when they conflict with the interests or philosophies of the pary. I could go on and on, but BP is right, the parallels are beyond striking. Which doesn't have predictive power, but lets not be in denial here.
posted by unSane at 9:28 PM on October 26, 2010 [9 favorites]


You can add to that anti-intellectualism

Indeed. The opposition to basic life sciences research by Tea Partiers who directly and indirectly reap health benefits from it is as tragic as it is hilarious. Do we need to start on the coordinated corporate-sponsored attacks on climate change researchers, which use the Tea Party both as a mouthpiece and to lend the deniers political legitimacy and, ultimately, control over legislation?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:33 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow...Rand Paul supporters treat women like we assume the Taliban would treat them.

USA USA USA!!!
posted by hal_c_on at 9:47 PM on October 26, 2010


> USA USA USA!!!

Cut that shit out, you Kiwi sheep buggerer. In case you didn't notice there are people all over the political spectrum in America who think this is disgusting and needs to be put in check.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:49 PM on October 26, 2010


unSane: "Weimar inflation was a relatively small parrt of the Nazi party's rise to power. By the time they were becoming a serious electoral proposition, the economy was not doing that badly. The real story is that they were continually accommodated by the more centrist political elements, who continued to believe they could manage the Nazis by have them inside the tent pissing out rather than the other way round."

This is much better focussed. Again, when I started commenting originally, I wrote "To understand the Nazis, you have to go back to 1870 and the Franco-Prussian war". I figured nobody would really care about that. So thank you (sincerely) for proving me wrong and showing that people do have a sense of historicity.

Remember when Karl Rove got savaged about his eminently sensible comments about Christine O'Donnell? Who drove that? In personality politics, who would choose O'Donnell over Rove? I hate to belabor the 1:1 analogy (as astro zombie pointed out it doesn't hold) but what Goebbels would allow that? and if Rove isn't the propaganda minister, who is? Ailes? Who's that person working for? The Koch brothers?

Blazecock Pileon: "I don't comprehend the energy spent at denying said parallels, honestly."

Please focus. I am not denying that the TP is corporatist in nature, and I'm not defending them. Plainly: they frighten me. I do think rather it's sort of blowing the load early -- again, we're at a sort of Kulturekampf stage and crying Nazi at this point will (1) weaken your thesis in public discourse and (2) leave you wanting for terminology when the real violence begins to occur.

Why this is the tact I take: ultimately I want to change peoples minds. I want them to get away from Palin and O'Donnell and (locally) Ken Buck and the vacuousity that the TP represents. Getting people to that point seems a subtle thing to me, though. Really, the strongest parallel between the TP and the NSDAP is that they don't have a set philosophy -- a German reporter was exasperated by interviewing Goebbels at one point, gave up being coy and asked : "Yes, but what is it the party stands for?" Goebbels shot back, "We are for the opposite of what is in place today". There's no there there, right?

Taking a contra position to that is hard enough, but when your opening gambit is "These people are Nazis and here's why", the only people who will listen to you are already on your side; you're preaching to the choir. That's useless, politically.

I've reached out to dozens of people and moved some of them politically to the left by listening to them and engaging with them. Sometimes I get riled up and lose my cool. I feel like working with people on a personal level is more effective than generalized internet invective.
posted by boo_radley at 9:55 PM on October 26, 2010 [8 favorites]


When fascism comes to America, they will curse the name of Mike Godwin. "We couldn't even discuss it when it was happening," people will say. "But if we mentioned a word of it, people would say 'Godwin's Law," and that was the end of the conversation."

Godwin never said we can't talk about Nazis, or that every time we did it would be wrong, or that mentioning Nazis means you lose an argument. He said the longer a thread is, he more likely it is somebody will mention Nazis. This is especially true when the people we discuss actually have some similarities to Nazis.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:56 PM on October 26, 2010 [19 favorites]


I wonder how long it will take them to turn congress around to being purely a venue for birther hearings.
posted by Artw at 9:59 PM on October 26, 2010


Hey Jessamyn/cortex:

I totally understand your frustration whenever metafilter becomes a newsfilter for something "whoa" that will get people up in arms.

But its kinda unrealistic to think that people will continue posting about jazz reviews, mime acts, puzzles, flash games or whatever on the blue when they see something that gets them all up in arms.

Sorry, but thats how it is. You guys respect mefites for calling out bad behavior on metafilter, and kinda policing themselves quite a bit...well that attitude is sometimes extended, and people like to point out things in real life that are akin to people rudely calling each other cunts on metafilter.

I think it would really help you guys out if you developed a clear and consistent guideline that is always followed so that people do less of these "why was it deleted?". As much as I may agree with the sentiment...I can see how someone questioning why you did what you did for work may be kinda annoying. I'm really sorry that happens to you guys at work; it must be 100 times worse to have a semi-anonymous internets jerk telling you that you're doing your job wrong than to be talked down to by a dickhead boss.

Sorry, it sucks, and thanks for carrying that burden.

But yeah...if you want to make your lives/jobs easier...than develop a VERY CLEAR and consistent policy that will let people get these troublesome posts out while the trouble to you is minimized. You guys are quick to cite that there are 100K people looking at metafilter...but if thats the case, you need to change the policy so that you aren't unnecessarily bothered by something like this happening in real life.

Because it will happen.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:03 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


clear potential connection
same analogy can be made of almost anything.

The parallels between the Tea Party and classic Fascist movements are there. I don't comprehend the energy spent at denying said parallels, honestly.

"One can retreat from folly without backing into fear".
-Nero Wolfe

So let us take a page from your book and put it to the test right here, right now.


"During the spring of 1933, Nazi student organizations, professors, and librarians made up long lists of books they thought should not be read by Germans."


do you agree with this statement and subsequent data to support it. If not, then we have a problem but i think you would agree.

ok
you draw parellels and i will give roughly a two year head start (2009-10)

{if the statement is too narrow criteria wise, replace it with "Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service" of April 7, 1933}

joelisboa, fine post, if my banal antics or my unwilling to believe the fourth Reich has arrived caused disruption, well...)
posted by clavdivs at 10:04 PM on October 26, 2010


1933 is way too late. Hitler was appointed Chancellor in January. Dachau opened later that year. You have to look way before then. By the time they are passing laws it's all over.
posted by unSane at 10:27 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Please focus

I was focused specifically, directly on your two comments in this thread that claim a lack of sufficient evidence for the Tea Party having similarities with the Nazi Party in 1930s Germany.

Why this is the tact I take: ultimately I want to change peoples minds

I think you could have said that up front. At this point, it otherwise sounds like moving the goalposts, just a bit. Anyway, as far as trying to convince someone that the Tea Party is not fascistic in nature, the evidence seems to arguably contradict this.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:37 PM on October 26, 2010


Hang in there mods.

only 741 days until the big election
posted by various at 11:43 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Blazecock Pileon: "I was focused specifically, directly on your two comments in this thread that claim a lack of sufficient evidence for the Tea Party having similarities with the Nazi Party in 1930s Germany."

This may be the root of our frission. My very first comment mentioned that

"the Tea Party is closer to a Stahlhelm or Trutzbunde group of the Weimar Republic than Nazis if you're talking about relative timelines and actions and such"

So, to explain that very first thing I wrote: The Stahlhelm were a paramilitary fascist group predating the Nazis. The leader of the Trutzbunde wrote a nasty screed titled "When I am King" and its members were a feeder group when the NSDAP coalesced. So my thesis is roughly "yes, they're fascist, but if you think they're Nazis, you're in for a nasty shock of things to come (potentially)."

Are there similarities? Sure, but they're slight compared to their precursors and feeder groups. Ultimately, though, I know that if it carries weight with you, I'm not going to be able to get you to back down to just corporatist or even fascist.

Disagree that explaining myself further is moving the goalposts as well. I think we have similar politics broadly and I wanted to explain how I discuss politics in real life. Again, we can agree that these people are an existential threat, but those who are nominally curious about the movement will shut down if you mention Nazism/ fascism in relation to the tea party.
posted by boo_radley at 11:52 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think it would really help you guys out if you developed a clear and consistent guideline that is always followed

Speaking for the mod team of which i am not a part, I'm sure they realize what they are doing. Clear and consistent guidelines create a lot more problems than they fix, and the judgment calls on each specific post are the cost of doing business. The mods are mods because they are wise, or at least because they are attempting wisdom, not because they are consistent, or objective. Wisdom (as I heard old Arianna Huffington say recently) is something missing from pretty much 90% of american life--from our politics, from our journalism, from much of our entertainment. Thank goodness there isn't the rule of law here, but the rule of experience, honestly, and thoughtful humility.

Anyway, kudos to the emperor, and C.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:07 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


1933 is way too late. Hitler was appointed Chancellor in January. Dachau opened later that year. You have to look way before then. By the time they are passing laws it's all over.

wow from january through december all german citizens of the jewish faith were rounded up and taken to Dachau?

"Dear God, make me dumb, that I may not to Dachau come." this was being said in 1935.
but....its all over. right?

Even pre-WWI in a real sense: there were a series of putsches from penny-ante yahoos that hastened the eventual rise of the Nazis.

cites?
if you mean post wwI well yeah, in 1923 Hitler tried one.
so you saying that the political climate is more akin to Muller, Scheidemann, surely not Ebert. And your not foolish enough to use Bruehling, Notverordnung, and all that.

Stahlhelm did not admit jews but golly, the wavey hand says close enough. Is it akin because it opposed the Young Plan or that it took on anti-republican/democratic nature after 1929 or is it
Deutschnationale Volkspartei and the pan german express that gives reason to compare.

fancy words and few cites will get you on metafilter...and 5$.

wanna be terrified about possibilties?
read
"The Cunning of History: Holocaust and the American Future" by Richard L Rubenstein
posted by clavdivs at 12:27 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


ironically those jewish solders turned away formed there own Stahlhelm.
posted by clavdivs at 12:29 AM on October 27, 2010


1933 is way too late. Hitler was appointed Chancellor in January. Dachau opened later that year. You have to look way before then. By the time they are passing laws it's all over.

Too true. Hitler's rise to power was slow and, in many ways, very unlikely. Nevertheless, it was allowed to happen, both by Germans who didn't at first take him seriously enough, and ultimately by world powers making the same mistake. So the lesson I personally take from that perhaps grimmest of all chapters of history is not to get all wound up about the EXACT same thing happening again (it won't) but to take ALL organized (and semi-organized) thuggery desperately seriously. NOW. Not tomorrow. Every beating, every mugging, every curb-stomping is a deliberate act against decency, against peace, against freedom, against humanity. So yeah, the events in Kentucky are decidedly Hitler-like (Staling-like, Mao-like, Papa-Doc-like, Saddam Hussein-like ... and so on).
posted by philip-random at 12:49 AM on October 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


oh and a preview of one of Rubenstiens tenets...

...'"it was the organizational skill of the nazis rather then than their new weapons that made society of mass domination a reality...of supreme importence as a weapon of bureaucratic domination is the computer." (infering the indexing system used by the nazis)

unsane:
a report is dated may 8, 1935, the commandant of Dachau wrote to Himmler explaining the new policy that "guards are forbidden to lay hands on a prisoner or to have private conversations with them"

why do you think that is.
more?

why in september 1941, after the a'yellow star' decree was issued, did Martin Boorman gave orders against the violation of Jews as "beneth the dignity of the Nazi Movement"

to further befuddle the already frightened population?
why did he write that
there are more
posted by clavdivs at 12:50 AM on October 27, 2010


Nevertheless, it was allowed to happen, both by Germans who didn't at first take him seriously enough, and ultimately by world powers making the same mistake.

God, do you how many times various factions tried to kill him, around 10, including nation states?
there about 20 from 1939-1945.

July 1921 Munich ? (shots fired at Hitler during a rally at the Hofbräuhaus)
1923 Leipzig ? (shots fired at his car)
15 Mar 1932 Munich-Weimar ? (shots fired at the train car Hitler, Joseph Goebbels & Dr. Wilhelm Frick was in)
June 1932 Stralsund ? (ambush on a road near Stralsund)
30 July 1932 Nuremberg ?
4 Mar 1933 Köningsberg Kurt Luttner (arrested 3 Mar for planning to kill Hitler with a bomb at a rally in Köningsberg 4 Mar)
1933-34 ? At least 10 attempts or plots came to the attention of the authorities, no additional details known
1933 Obersalzberg ? (a man in a SA-leaders uniform is arrested and a gun is found on him)
1934 ? Ernst Röhm & Julius Uhl (most likely only alleged)
1936 Nuremberg Helmut Hirsch (Hirsch, a Jewish student, confessed to having been sent by Otto Strasser to kill Hitler with a bomb)
1937-38 ? Émigré groups mainly in Czechoslovakia, but also in Switzerland & Great Britain, plotted to kill Hitler, but nothing came of it
Nov 1937 Berlin Josef Thomas (Thomas, a mentally ill man from Elberfeld was arrested by the Gestapo 26 Nov 1937, he had travelled to Berlin to shoot Hitler and Hermann Göring)
Apr 1938 Munich Alexander Foote (Foote, an Englishman working as a spy for the USSR investigated the possibilities of assassinating Hitler, succeeding to get close to him in his favourite restaurant, Osteria Bavaria, without any problem)
1938 Berlin F.W. Heinz (plans were made to arrest Hitler during the Sudetenland crisis and Heinz, who were to lead those responsible for the arrest, decided to kill him instead. The crisis was solved politically.)
1938 Munich Maurice Bavaud (Bavaud, a Swiss theology student, made several attempts to shoot Hitler, but failed and was arrested when trying to leave the country by train without a valid ticket)
posted by clavdivs at 12:56 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Like I said. Not seriously enough.
posted by philip-random at 12:58 AM on October 27, 2010


New word for the day: grary
posted by telstar at 1:43 AM on October 27, 2010


I think people have suggested something like this before, but how about a sidebarred catch-all thread for the last week of election news in the US and we can just close any other election thread and direct people there.
posted by empath at 5:42 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


wow from january through december all german citizens of the jewish faith were rounded up and taken to Dachau?

I would classify the point where the 1st Jew gets put into a death camp as 'too late'.
posted by empath at 5:46 AM on October 27, 2010 [8 favorites]


God, do you how many times various factions tried to kill him, around 10, including nation states?

And that's just travellers from our timeline.
posted by gimonca at 6:08 AM on October 27, 2010 [10 favorites]


I think people have suggested something like this before, but how about a sidebarred catch-all thread for the last week of election news in the US and we can just close any other election thread and direct people there

After 300 comments, many threads on the Blue become massive and difficult to navigate. We see different people making the same points and adding the same links because most people don't want to invest the time required to read every comment and follow every link when a thread gets that large.

Precedent suggests we'd wind up with a massive, rambling discussion that would be a hell of a lot harder to moderate effectively. The mods have a mostly hands-off 'pruning' policy now and it works quite well. But in a large thread, with several conversations/arguments happening at once, that would be impossible to implement.

Also, and this is perhaps the worst possibility: you'd have fewer people participating. The longer a thread, the more daunting it becomes. So it stands to reason that the majority of people contributing would be those who are most fired up, intractable and polarized on political topics.
posted by zarq at 6:17 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think most people have just tuned out the election by this point. Well, not tuned out, since we are getting saturation level of lying commercials from both sides and constant robocalls. Among my friends, no one is actually talking about the election and the candidates, just how annoying it is. I can't wait until next Wednesday.
posted by smackfu at 6:22 AM on October 27, 2010


I can't wait until next Wednesday.

Yes, then we can start looking at the 2012 US election!!!
posted by nomadicink at 6:25 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I read empath's statement of the suggestion as saying that we should just sidebar an RSS feed from an open news source with links to that external place and not host the discussion here either. Just say, "Hey, the election news can be found on this other site here. Go get 'em."
posted by kalessin at 6:32 AM on October 27, 2010


"Hey, the election news can be found on this other site here. Go get 'em."

I was sort of hoping PoliticalFilter would be a little more vibrant and could take some of the MeFiPolitical SuperFans to a site where talking about politics constantly is expected. That said, it is there and people who really want more political threads with some of the same people should know it is there and check it out.

I think it would really help you guys out if you developed a clear and consistent guideline that is always followed so that people do less of these "why was it deleted?".


We have clear and consistent guidelines, but part of it is that there's a certain amount of discretion involved in making those decisions. Anything that is more automated becomes either a gameable system or something that would be picked apart by rules lawyers and griefers trying to find holes in it. As it is, having judgement-call calls for things like Stunt Posts, "please make a better obit" posts, axe-grinding posts [okay if done by one person, not okay if done by the usual axe grinding suspects], first posts [examined more closely than other posts] and other posts that require special attention seems to mostly work.

And again I do not mind explaining why a post was deleted, at all. But if it's just an "I'm curious, I didn't want to open a massive thread on this topic" sort of thing, we're happier if people email us. And it's worth restating that people who want an airtight calculus of what gets deleted and what does not, such that they could make the sort of assessments that we make every day, are not going to find that here. We think this makes the site better. I know some people disagree, but it's a system that's been mostly working here for over a decade and is unlikely to change because there's a bumpy few days.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:56 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was sort of hoping PoliticalFilter would be a little more vibrant and could take some of the MeFiPolitical SuperFans to a site where talking about politics constantly is expected.

A second forum for political discussions in addition to MeFi would be nice. But they're not accepting new membership accounts over there, so it's kind of hard to join the conversation.
posted by zarq at 7:14 AM on October 27, 2010


But they're not accepting new membership accounts over there

Sure, they are.
posted by nomadicink at 7:18 AM on October 27, 2010


Thank you for reconnecting it. :)
posted by zarq at 7:21 AM on October 27, 2010


PoliticalFilter is nice and all, but people don't want to just go somewhere where they can discuss politics, they want to do it here because there is a critical mass of eyeballs. I think it has very little to do with the appropriateness of the venue and everything to do with sweet sweet attention and response.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:21 AM on October 27, 2010


And that's just travellers from our timeline.

Please read IATT Bulletin 1147 regarding time travel and killing Hitler before taking any trips.
posted by mlis at 7:59 AM on October 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


I wonder how long it will take them to turn congress around to being purely a venue for birther hearings.

I'm not afraid of Congress becoming solely a Birther venue any time soon, but count on the nonsense getting a whole new lease on life if Republicans win big. The stated goal of a Republican-dominated Congress is to do whatever it takes to ruin Obama. And they aren't too high-minded to get down in that muck, however nuts it makes them look in the process.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:10 AM on October 27, 2010


I liked the part of this MeTa where just as soon as it seemed like it was resolved, it flared back up. It happened like five times, so you know this is like my favorite MeTa thread ever.
posted by rhizome at 9:41 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would classify the point where the 1st Jew gets put into a death camp as 'too late'.

that would be May, 20, 1940- not say alot of killing went on before, but 'death camp' fits the criteia.
IMO, late 39' when the "ghetto' in Warsaw was closed.
posted by clavdivs at 10:31 AM on October 27, 2010


Well, I'm still a little perturbed that EVERYBODY doesn't agree with ME that every now and then, Godwinism is entirely ABSOLUTELY relevant; that the mere coining of that term allows for a certain ambivalence that (perhaps) will allow another great and imponderable evil to catch root, live, grow.
posted by philip-random at 10:32 AM on October 27, 2010


"I liked the part of this MeTa where just as soon as it seemed like it was resolved, it flared back up. It happened like five times, so you know this is like my favorite MeTa thread ever."

Yes. MeTa drama is one of the only remaining joys in my bleak little life.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:38 AM on October 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


> every now and then, Godwinism is entirely ABSOLUTELY relevant

You know, it's quite possible to sound the alarm about the fascist possibilities inherent in contemporary phenomena without yelling HITLER!!!! In fact, avoiding the HITLER brand name is likely to result in a more sympathetic hearing. And being forced to be a little more creative in one's historical analogies (I trust we all realize there have been other mass murderers and totalitarian politicians) might even be a good thing in its own right.
posted by languagehat at 10:48 AM on October 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


With these criteria, history will have to repeat itself in entirety before some will ever be convinced.

Seriously, the parallel is tenuous at best. I mean, their swastikas are pointing the other way.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:52 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think it has very little to do with the appropriateness of the venue and everything to do with sweet sweet attention and response.

That's an uncharitable view, Burhanistan. For me and for many, it has to do with wanting to discuss these things with people we've come to know and respect. I tried politicalfilter and warfilter before that but they never sustained interest and had limited participation. This is the only community I participate in. I've come to know a lot of people here and I value their thinking, the sharing, and the smart discussions around important topics. It has nothing to do with sweet sweet attention.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:57 AM on October 27, 2010 [6 favorites]


> It has nothing to do with sweet sweet attention.

Fair enough. Scratch everything in my missive after eyeballs, then.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:07 PM on October 27, 2010


You know, it's quite possible to sound the alarm about the fascist possibilities inherent in contemporary phenomena without yelling HITLER!!!!

It's also possible to respond to legitimate comparisons of terrifyingly popular fascist political movements without yelling GODWIN!!!! in knee-jerk fashion.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:11 PM on October 27, 2010


It's also possible to talk about blah blah socio-political issues in threads that are about said socio-political issues instead of in a thread that's about a question of site policy.
posted by Gator at 2:27 PM on October 27, 2010


Gator, I don't know who you imagine appointed you thread cop, but discussion of whether or not comparisons of the TP to the nascent Nazi party are Godwinizing a thread is right on point for MeTa. If the discussion was in the open thread people would be moaning at us to take it here.
posted by unSane at 2:30 PM on October 27, 2010


It's also possible to talk about blah blah socio-political issues in threads that are about said socio-political issues instead of in a thread that's about a question of site policy.

I think I need to explain to you the comment you're upset about:

I wonder if Germans in the early 1930s argued over minutia like this before the Nazis took over.

Do you understand that this is a "meta" comment about the character of the larger discussion, and not about the issues related to aspects of the Tea Party itself, primarily?

This kind of discussion about the discussion is perfectly within the purview of MetaTalk and what MetaTalk is for.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:38 PM on October 27, 2010


I liked the part of this MeTa where just as soon as it seemed like it was resolved, it flared back up. It happened like five times, so you know this is like my favorite MeTa thread ever.

Let me tell you, as the OP I'm completely overjoyed about that. :P
posted by zarq at 2:50 PM on October 27, 2010


This kind of discussion about the discussion is perfectly within the purview of MetaTalk and what MetaTalk is for.

Honestly, it's actually more somewhere in between Totally Not Okay and What Metatalk Is For. We elected not to get hardassed about chasing down the "let's argue about how much the Tea Party is like the Nazi Party" shit in here because, fuck it, we had better stuff to do with our time, but it was honestly an obnoxious and unnecessary injection of yet another argument into what was not in principle a thread about that.

We get grief sometimes for closing metatalk threads up, but I feel like this is one where it was a mistake not to do so if the response to letting it dangle is this idea that somehow making this home for yet another goddam Tea Party discussion is a good use of this part of the site.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:52 PM on October 27, 2010


So where do you suggest we discuss whether it is ever appropriate to compare the TP to the beginnings of National Socialism? Or is that just something that we can't talk about on Metafilter?
posted by unSane at 3:13 PM on October 27, 2010


So where do you suggest we discuss whether it is ever appropriate to compare the TP to the beginnings of National Socialism? Or is that just something that we can't talk about on Metafilter?

I'd say a thread where the topic is something other than "how are the Tea Party like Nazis" is a pretty good candidate for not having that discussion, in general. That's most threads. A policy question about deletion of one of a pair of posts actually fits that bill pretty well.

It may be that, at a given time, there is no thread where it's particularly relevant to discuss the Tea Party vis-a-vis the Nazi Party (though given how steady a topic the Tea Partiers have been on the blue since they hit the scene that doesn't seem like a serious problem). This place does not come with some "you can always discuss whatever you feel like discussing" entitlement, there's lots of stuff about which no current discussion is actually taking place and for which there's no obvious venue for it.

There's a great big internet out there, portions of which are happy to house as much Tea Party chatter as you can produce. If Metafilter is too confining on this topic for your tastes, the pragmatic solution is to split your time with those other places and find the discussion you need where it's not driving other people batshit.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:00 PM on October 27, 2010


Seriously, there's a thread about the TP in which Godwin has been invoked, and an open MeTa thread about the MeFi thread, and we're out of order for discussing whether it's appropriate or not in the MeTa thread? The can of worms/beans was already open. Is "somewhere in between Totally Not Okay and What Metatalk Is For" really the most clarity you can shed on this?

Incidentally, who's being driven batshit? Did I miss that?
posted by unSane at 4:07 PM on October 27, 2010


Seriously, there's a thread about the TP in which Godwin has been invoked, and an open MeTa thread about the MeFi thread, and we're out of order for discussing whether it's appropriate or not in the MeTa thread?

If it's relevant to the original thread on the blue, go discuss it there. If it's a derail there, the thread that's "hey, can you explain the deletion of one but not the other of these two threads" isn't any more on-topic. Godwin being invoked does not somehow make it suddenly totally relevant, especially given that even that was only in response to BP's initial injection of "let's compare this to Nazi Germany" stuff into the thread in the first place.

Incidentally, who's being driven batshit?

The entire mod staff, for one. A whole lot of other people who have been variously annoyed or tired out about repeated strident posturing and hollering on the site on the subject as well. I don't know how else to convey this: I understand that it's a notable thing going on in the American political dialectic right now, but that doesn't mean that how people go about discussing it can't get really obnoxious.

Is "somewhere in between Totally Not Okay and What Metatalk Is For" really the most clarity you can shed on this?

When I've got one person on one side suggesting it's not appropriate for Metatalk and one on the otherside asserting that it's perfectly appropriate, that's about as detailed as I feel like I really need to get. And given that Metatalk is where we let the widest range of annoying behavior stand, it's hard to get a whole lot more precise than that on the general idea: people can do obnoxious things here and it's neither a basic violation of the rules or particular good behavior.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:36 PM on October 27, 2010


I'm a bit at a loss as to where all the mod-GRAR is coming from, although obviously there's shit flying behind the scenes that I don't know about. Most of the discussion I read in this thread was pretty rational and interesting. It might not have been totally on topic as to why one thread stood and one thread fell, but the meta-meta-topic which was raised by the answer to the original question was how one can and should talk about the TP on MeFi. Since that is clearly something which is causing you guys some degree of burnout, it seems like it might be ultimately A Good Thing.
posted by unSane at 5:16 PM on October 27, 2010


get him
posted by clavdivs at 5:17 PM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Not to at all belittle the headache aspect of the Godwin derail, but there's been some pretty good historical info on this thread. It's been a good read, that way.

You can be proud of me as well for restraining myself from mentioning how there are also echoes -- or "rhymes" here of Roman senators each keeping about themselves an entourage of thugs during the late republic.

Or, you could be proud.
posted by Trochanter at 5:22 PM on October 27, 2010


{bribes Trochanters' Lictors}

newspost

discussion ensues
hitler reference brandished
eruption ensues
age old MeTa is called for (which used to have weight)
eruption on MeTa
eruption on MeFi dragged into MeTa
same erupton ensues
moderation is imployed
eruption ensues
moderated moderation employed...

post here Clavdivs- stultus un imperio praedicaverunt
posted by clavdivs at 5:58 PM on October 27, 2010


But who will moderate the moderators themelves?
posted by unSane at 6:04 PM on October 27, 2010


You would perhaps be surprised at how much effort the moderators themselves put in on that front. God knows metafilter does not get an unmoderated version of me.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:08 PM on October 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ditto.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:09 PM on October 27, 2010


In other words, God moderates the moderators.
posted by gman at 6:11 PM on October 27, 2010


We're all puppets unSane. Moderators are just puppets who can see the strings. Don't you see? Time is simultaneous, an intricately structured website that humans insist on viewing one thread at a time, when all the posts are visible in every facet.
posted by nomadicink at 6:12 PM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know, it's quite possible to sound the alarm about the fascist possibilities inherent in contemporary phenomena without yelling HITLER!!!!

It's also possible to respond to legitimate comparisons of terrifyingly popular fascist political movements without yelling GODWIN!!!! in knee-jerk fashion.


This is a weird thread insofar as I agree with both of these statements. That is, assuming we wish to actually communicate with others, we should try to contain our knee-jerk HITLER accusations (all our knee-jerkisms actually). In fact, long before Godwin's Law (or whatever it's called) gained popularity, I quite enjoyed a game where the instant someone used a Hitler analogy in discussion, everyone else shouted ULTIMATELY HITLER! (and then various punishments were administered).

On the other hand, the first thing that came to mind when I saw the curbstomping headlines was "brownshirts". So this is actually an incidence where, for me at least, the accusation isn't just fair, it's deeply relevant; one of those stand-up-and-be counted moments; one of those "where were you when they started curbstomping the lefties and nobody did anything about it?" moments.

Remember how the Little Boy Who Cried Wolf ended? There actually was a wolf and it did eat some people (or maybe it was sheep, or umm, fainting goats, or really dumb cats -- which thread is this again?)
posted by philip-random at 6:16 PM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


on the waydown with the rock, i wish just once a drinks was available
posted by clavdivs at 6:27 PM on October 27, 2010


But who will moderate the moderators themelves?

They take a tremendous amount of shit from us. They do. From defensive n00bs who don't understand how this place works to tone-deaf long-term members. (I've been both, for the record.) From the many, many SEO spammers who try and take advantage of this place to other folks with serious rage problems.

The mods certainly seem to have the patience of Job. They make themselves available, day or night to answer questions and make sure the site runs smoothly. Sometimes decisions are even reversed. They handle all of us all as lightly and as fairly as they know how, without being assholes about it. It's very, very rare to find that combination online. We've all been on sites like YouTube where there was zero moderation and the comments were like a feeding frenzy. Some of us have also been on sites where the mods had delusions of godhood and made everyone miserable.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

They do. And they do a damned good job of it, too.
posted by zarq at 6:29 PM on October 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


We elected not to get hardassed about chasing down the "let's argue about how much the Tea Party is like the Nazi Party" shit in here because, fuck it, we had better stuff to do with our time, but it was honestly an obnoxious and unnecessary injection of yet another argument into what was not in principle a thread about that.

Obviously I'm not explaining this well. I'll try one last time. When I wrote this:

I wonder if Germans in the early 1930s argued over minutia like this before the Nazis took over.

it's not about the goddamn Tea Party, it's about — with all due respect to zarq — quibbling over the wording or phrasing of a post, about a subject that self-evident in its nature.

Arguing about whether the Tea Party is fascist or not is like arguing about whether the law of gravity is true, as I've said previously (in a different way), so I'm not going to waste any more time with debating that.

That said, as far as this particular thread goes, MetaTalk threads have been questioned so many times in the past that there's really not much reason that doing so here is any more controversial than the last thousand times it's happened, in so many other threads I've had nothing to do with.

So questioning it here is not obnoxious, really. It is making a critical and apparently necessary point about the perspective (or lack of perspective, perhaps) about the subject at hand, even if that requires a strong and perfectly applicable analogy. That has always been within the realm of MetaTalk discussions, since its inception.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:36 PM on October 27, 2010


i left 'cart' out.
because thats funny....a drinks-cart.

bundle the question
seems
apt.
posted by clavdivs at 6:37 PM on October 27, 2010


if you want to make your lives/jobs easier...than develop a VERY CLEAR and consistent policy that will let people get these troublesome posts out while the trouble to you is minimized. You guys are quick to cite that there are 100K people looking at metafilter...but if thats the case, you need to change the policy so that you aren't unnecessarily bothered by something like this happening in real life.

Speaking as someone who ALSO does something involving interactions with the public...sometimes even when you DO have a very clear and consistent policy, and you communicate that in multiple places, then you will find that sometimes

a) there will still be situations where that policy doesn't quite apply, and
b) there will be situations where people simply overlook it because they think "surely, this does not apply to MY unique case!" and
c) there will be situations where people don't notice it because they are nimrods.

So even coming up with a clear and consistent policy won't spare trouble.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:36 PM on October 27, 2010


So even coming up with a clear and consistent policy won't spare trouble.

Those are great points, but I don't know what you mean exactly by 'spare'.

It won't eliminate trouble but, correctly formulated, it should reduce it.
posted by unSane at 8:48 PM on October 27, 2010


It won't eliminate trouble but, correctly formulated, it should reduce it.

Not quite so much as you'd think, if my own experience is anything to go on...

(EVERY YEAR we tell playwrights "we do not need resumes or reviews with your entries." EVERY YEAR we tell playwrights "do not send us scripts that are bound with spiral binding." EVERY YEAR plenty of playwrights do both. EVERY YEAR.....)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:53 PM on October 27, 2010


Metafilter: use the right synonym or your argument is invalid.
posted by clavdivs at 9:11 PM on October 27, 2010


Nimrod.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 9:52 PM on October 27, 2010


metafilter: wiki linked architechtural babel and more
posted by clavdivs at 10:07 PM on October 27, 2010


LOLPLAYWRIGHTS
posted by 1000monkeys at 10:17 PM on October 27, 2010


Why this is the tact I take

(it's tack)
posted by adamdschneider at 9:56 AM on October 28, 2010


> On the other hand, the first thing that came to mind when I saw the curbstomping headlines was "brownshirts". So this is actually an incidence where, for me at least, the accusation isn't just fair, it's deeply relevant; one of those stand-up-and-be counted moments; one of those "where were you when they started curbstomping the lefties and nobody did anything about it?" moments.

Yes, but again, you can accomplish all that—you can stand up and try to get something done about it—without hollering HITLER. I advocate the avoidance of Hitler-hollering not because I think he's irrelevant (believe me, the same thoughts cross my mind) or because I think he's so uniquely evil that nothing can be compared to him, but for two reasons:

1) it turns people off and thus is counterproductive, and

2) it's boring.

Those are good reasons. Come on, people, blackshirts are pretty much like brownshirts except they haven't been done to death! Get in on the ground floor of Arrow Cross Party comparisons! Make people think instead of jerking their knees! Say it with me: Yes We Can Alarm the Masses without der Führer!
posted by languagehat at 2:29 PM on October 28, 2010


EmpressCallipygos: "do not send us scripts that are bound with spiral binding."

The only thing worse than that is the ones who send you a fully bound copy that they self-published, because even though you asked for loose pages, they think having something that looks professionally printed will make them seem more professional.

I guess my point is that with some people there's no point in having hard and fast rules because all it does is give 'em ideas for ways to disobey.

My other point is LOLPLAYWRIGHTS.
posted by the latin mouse at 3:59 PM on October 28, 2010


adamdschneider: "Why this is the tact I take

(it's tack)
"

Thank you. I shortened tactic and that seemed right for some raisin.
posted by boo_radley at 11:57 AM on October 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


oh arse.
posted by boo_radley at 11:58 AM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thank you. I shortened tactic and that seemed right for some raisin.

Too Tacky?
posted by zarq at 12:05 PM on October 29, 2010


Metafilter: Raisin. Oh arse.
posted by SpiffyRob at 12:06 PM on October 29, 2010


Nevertheless, it was allowed to happen, both by Germans who didn't at first take him seriously enough, and ultimately by world powers making the same mistake.

The problem was, every time someone was trying to discuss Hitler, someone would mention Napoleon and the conversation would go to hell.
posted by qvantamon at 3:30 PM on October 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


Godwin? Watch how the pros do it: Ex-Bushie warns of Obama-led "Marxist insurgency"
posted by Trochanter at 3:53 PM on October 29, 2010


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