Wednesday, April 16, 2008

From a post on the debate debacle. Commenters:
"The wingers already had Bingo from Maureen Dowd’s column today."

"Yeah what a twofer, to have Barack be lectured by Maureen Down and George Will on his elitism. Fucking, fucking, fuckety, fuck."
So I quoted the column, adding my own comments.
"At match points, when Hillary fights like a cornered raccoon, Obama retreats into law professor mode. The elitism that Americans dislike is not about family money or connections — J.F.K. and W. never would have been elected without them. In the screwball movie genre that started during the last Depression, there was a great tradition of the millionaire who was cool enough to relate to the common man — like Cary Grant’s C.K. Dexter Haven in 'The Philadelphia Story.'

What turns off voters is the detached egghead quality that they tend to equate with a wimpiness, wordiness and a lack of action — the same quality that got the professorial and superior Adlai Stevenson mocked by critics as Adelaide. The new attack line for Obama rivals is that he’s gone from J.F.K. to Dukakis. (Just as Dukakis chatted about Belgian endive, Obama chatted about Whole Foods arugula in Iowa.)"
She just about hit the nail on the head. I suppose you could mock her for saying the obvious but obviously it's not obvious to a lot of people. If the democrats can't lead then they don't deserve to. And intellectuals who don't understand leadership and blame the vulgarity of the masses for the failures of the country should stay out of politics, since it obviously doesn't interest them. The best don't lack conviction, they just prefer self-pity.
So I guess you'd prefer this. [both passages are from comments by McGinn on his own post. The site was moved, the original comments stripped] 
I myself see a close link between democracy as a dogma and the idea that everyone's opinion is as good as anyone else's: that is, between equality in respect of voting power and forms of relativism about truth. For if people's opinions do not have equal value, how can we justify giving their votes equal power?
Which is to say that bullshit and democracy are natural partners, born of the need to have an opinion when not in possession of the necessary knowledge.
Frankly I prefer Democracy and Dowd to Philosopher Kings and Colin McGinn. Here's more
I had in mind experts of many different types, not all specialists in a particular field. Following Plato, I envisage people trained in all subjects relevant to politics--history, geography, philosophy, psychology, etc. These would be the "philosopher kings" (though not our narrow sense of "philosophy"). They could have advisors in a specific field, if necessary, but they would be broadly educated. These experts would work with some democraticlly elected leaders to make policy--but not merely in an advisory capacity.
I'm so sick of all you enlightened motherfuckers. You're no less than the mirror of the barbarians you bitch about, and contrary to your rationalizations, no more.
Henry Farrell 'disemvoweled' the comment, adding: "Seth – you are hereby permanently banned from commenting on my posts."

From email
[SE] Well, I hit a nerve.
You fucking idiot.

[HF] I'm sure it would make you feel happier and more important if you did
hit a nerve, but unfortunately it's not so.. I've been prepared to
tolerate your self-indulgent, tedious and wholly incoherent vaporings
out of a minimal sense of pluralism, but you've never had anything
substantial or significant to add, and when you start adding personal
abuse, you moved the balance that teensy-weensy bit that was
sufficient. I

Don't bother replying - you're now in my email killfile.
I hit a nerve alright. It's much easier to see irrationality in others if you assume rationality in yourself. Determinism for thee but not for me.

Farrell and McGinn: There's no such thing as an ex-Catholic. Dowd wouldn't argue the point.
continuing on Dowd, a note on a note.
Jumping forward, Farrell his sister, and the church. And here. The origins of Henry's libertarian dreams.
And at some point years later he restored my comments. "[aeiou]" is an artifact of the app. 

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