The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

I … See … Crazy People

Posted on | August 2, 2011 | 72 Comments

One of the amazing things about the whole debt-ceiling episode is how it has caused liberals to say stuff even crazier than the crazy stuff they usually say. Michael Lind at Salon:

The debt ceiling crisis is the latest case in which the radical right in the South has held America hostage until its demands are met. Presidents Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln refused to appease the Southern fanatics. Unfortunately, President Obama and the Democrats in Congress chose not to follow their example and instead gave in. In doing so, they have encouraged the neo-Confederate minority in Congress to find yet another opportunity in the near future to extort concessions from America’s majority by sabotaging America’s government.

That’s some 180-proof crazy. But when it comes to pure high-octane crazy, nobody beats Amanda Marcotte:

Now it’s time to reflect on how our country has gone so far off track that we can’t even handle the basic responsibility of keeping the country from plunging into a manufactured crisis that nearly led to economic collapse. There are multiple causes, but one that hasn’t been discussed much is abortion.
Yes, abortion. Or, more specifically, the sustained sex panic that has been going on in this country since the sixties and seventies, when the sexual revolution occurred and women secured their reproductive rights. . . . [I]t’s sex panic that helped create the modern right-wing populist, and it’s the modern right-wing populist that created the current crisis. . . .
The genius of conservative leadership was that they were able to take all this anger about sexual freedom and desegregation and put the blame on two enemies: Democrats and the federal government.

So it’s neo-Confederates and/or “sex panic” that cause people to, uh . . . . Wait, what are we talking about? The federal debt.

The only way to exempt yourself from these bizarre accusations is to support infinite deficit spending. Otherwise, you’re like a giant inkblot in a Rorshach test, onto which Michael Lind and Amanda Marcotte will project their paranoid fears. You can’t simply debate fiscal policy with people like Lind and Marcotte, because they are endowed with the Magical Mind-Reading Power of Liberalism, which enables them to discern that you’re really a sex-panicked neo-Confederate upset about desegregation and “reproductive rights.”

It’s like having Charles Manson call you a psychotic.

UPDATE: Here’s a classic. On Sunday morning, Marcotte proclaimed to the world that “sex panic” explained the debt-ceiling dispute. But Tuesday, once she’d seen Lind’s neo-Confederate theory, she suddenly decided his theory was exactly right:

Southern whites have disproportionately tried to fuck up everything great about this country, all because of their racial resentments and backasswards views on gender . . .

Notice that “backasswards views on gender” now emerge as a uniquely regional trait of the South, as Marcotte evidently hopes to engraft her “sex panic” theory onto Lind’s Dixiefied theory. But either way, it’s the same thing: If you don’t agree with liberals, it can only be because there’s something wrong with you.

Your disagreement therefore licenses liberals to diagnose your disorder, a prerogative to which they are entitled, because they are your intellectual and moral superiors. And I remind you that this habit — diagnosing dissent as pathological — has been a signature trope of liberalism for more than half a century: Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.


72 Responses to “I … See … Crazy People”

  1. rtl
    August 3rd, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

    Remember when the deficits were manageable?

    3 years ago.

  2. rtl
    August 3rd, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

    And since they mattered to you then, why, when they are 3 times bigger, are they now cool and awesome?  GAME OVER

  3. Anonymous
    August 3rd, 2011 @ 4:17 pm

    If you were impressed by Lind’s shabby “analysis,” what does that suggest about your intellect?

    Lind begins by playing a childish rhetorical trick, claiming that the “white southern minority has not hesitated to paralyze, sabotage . . . destroy American democracy” for the last 200 years. Framing it that way, he can use examples from 200 years ago, 150 years ago (Civil War), 100 years ago (Jim Crow), 50 years ago (Dixiecrats) and therefore imply continuity up to the present without ever giving any examples of “sabotage,” or anti-democratic destructiveness, from recent decades.

    Lind claims the “facts show that the Tea Party in Congress is merely the familiar Old-Confederate Southern right under a new label,” but then, curiously enough, he doesn’t show any of those facts. He tosses in a few anecdotal examples from the mid 1990s, which do not support his argument, anyway.

    Lind points out that 39 of 62 (62 percent) Tea Party members in the House are from the “south,” but doesn’t mention that 19 of the 39 are from either Texas or Florida – the second and fourth most populous states, respectively (btw, many hard-core “the south will rise again” types do not consider Texas as part of the cultural/spiritual south and they also disown much of modern, yankee-colonized Florida). We’d expect relatively high numbers of Tea Partiers to come from these two “red states” based on sheer numbers. On the other hand, very few non-“progressives” ever win in New England, in the Rust Belt, or the “progressive” enclaves out West – that the Tea Party hasn’t made inroads in those places tells us nothing about “rednecks” in the south.

    Lind even proposterously argues that the Tea Party House members from California and other “border” states are really part of the redneck/Okie diaspora, anyway. Really? Ugh, Lind . . . newsflash, if you know anything about migration trends, it’s the other way around, with northerners flocking to the south in recent decades. Maybe the yankee diaspora is responsible for the strength of the Tea Party in the south. That’s as good a “theory” as Lind’s.

    The subtext of Lind’s argument: Tea Partiers are stupid; rednecks/Okies are stupid; therefore, Tea Partiers = rednecks/Okies.

    So, I’ve read Lind’s pathetic article, Tim. The question is, did you?   

  4. Robert Speed
    August 3rd, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

    The raising of the debt ceiling was a bigger chore than it should have been since conservatives want to accomplish two things with their policy, one to term limit Barak the Ben land Slayer, and two to prevent the growth of the deficit without raising taxes.  Being a practical democrat  and not a paid pundit who has to explain to their audiences the motivation behind the right or the left, I prefer to watch how others react to historical events before I dip my pen in my acid well of ink. 

    The emotion of the moment causes all sorts of  bile to rise on the right and the left.  The left has  characterized the right as racist, haters of Gender political power issues, as well as abortion driven and I suppose mindless.  When it comes down to the divisions between the left and right those are the emotional primary drivers at the voter level on the right of the right. It has given them the majority in a number of elections. 

    Femenazi’s as Rush calls them work very hard to advance women to places of authority in business, society and politics. The also champion abortion rights, and they have allied themselves with blacks and gays transgender who are discriminated by society and by laws.  So when they have been engaged to defeat the conservative movement for their efforts that will result in economic stagnation they go for the mental knives that are the closest and simplest and in that regards so do conservative wingers who call Obama a Nazi, socialist, communist, baby killer, unamerican etc. 

  5. Paul Joslin
    August 3rd, 2011 @ 4:27 pm

    Stacy, I thought you’d be the one to bring up American History.  Andrew Jackson, From Wikipedia:
    A polarizing figure who dominated the Second Party System
    in the 1820s and 1830s, he destroyed the national bank and relocated
    most Indian tribes to the west. His enthusiastic followers created the
    modern Democratic Party, and the 1830-1850 period later became known as the era of Jacksonian democracy.
    Jackson was nicknamed “Old Hickory” because of his toughness and aggressive personality that produced numerous duels, some fatal.
    He was a rich slave owner who appealed to the masses of Americans and
    fought against what he denounced as a closed undemocratic aristocracy.
    He expanded the spoils system during his presidency to strengthen his political base, regardless of the cost of inefficiency and bias.

    As president, he supported a small and limited federal government but
    strengthened the power of the presidency, which he saw as spokesman for
    the entire population–as opposed to Congressmen from a specific small
    district. He was supportive of states’ rights, but, during the Nullification Crisis, declared that states do not have the right to nullify federal laws. Strongly against the national bank,
    he vetoed the renewal of its charter and ensured its collapse. Whigs
    and moralists denounced his aggressive enforcement of the Indian Removal Act, which resulted in the forced relocation of Native American tribes to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma).

  6. Anonymous
    August 3rd, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

    I’m no fan of AJ, but to be fair, in those days, the Democrats were the free trade party – although a free trade policy might have been premature, given the state of American industry in the first half of the 19th century.

    The causes of conflict between the north and south were as much rooted in tarriffs and other trade policies as they were slavery, although those issues were linked, of course.

  7. Threedonia
    August 3rd, 2011 @ 5:59 pm

    I had a sex panic once.  He’ll be six in a week.  But we love him.  🙂

    I’m ashamed that Amanda Marcotte is from Texas… even if it is El Paso and Austin.

  8. Anonymous
    August 3rd, 2011 @ 7:00 pm

    I’ve figured out Marcotte’s crazy “sex panic” theory of politics:

    Obviously, she’s projecting, but more specifically, she’s blurring the distinctions between sexuality and neuroses (e.g., panic disorder) – for selfish reasons. You see, everyone is always calling her a “freak.” They mean that she’s batshit crazy, but in urban lingo, “freak” can also mean a kinky girl who likes to freak a lot and/or is good at it. If Amanda blurs the lines between sex/crazy enough, then she can lay claim to being a true sex maniac.   

    Note: Marcotte always attempts to psychologize her enemies as a means of marginalzing their arguments. She wants to believe that it’s her opponents whose political motivations come down to psychology, emotion, and sexuality – that, FOR THEM, reason is way down the list – but we all know who she is really describing.  

  9. Anonymous
    August 3rd, 2011 @ 7:01 pm

    I thought this was a quote from the Onion when I first read it… Do you think the writer actually believes this crap, or is it red hot pablum for the left audience for page hits?

    Bat s**t crazy to believe gender anxiety (what is making us anxious??) is the cause, not the fact that we are RUNNING OUT OF MONEY!!!

  10. Nate Whilk
    August 3rd, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

    It’s amazing to actually see Marcotte and hear her saying these crazy things as though they were as factual as “The weather’s nice.” She’s a perfect example of the saying “When all you have is a hammer (feminist theory), everything looks like a nail.”

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  12. DANEgerus
    August 3rd, 2011 @ 11:58 pm

    I thought Bashir(D-MSNBC) said it was because we were “delusional””addicts”, even though it is the Democrats advocating perpetual deficit spending.

    I’m confused how I can be having a “sex panic” when birth-control enabled sluts are indulging my every whim at tax-payer expense.  I am so NOT having a “sex panic” attack.

  13. JeffS
    August 4th, 2011 @ 12:36 am

    Tim Burns as well.  His crazy ain’t sexual, but it is deep.

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  15. Nick
    August 4th, 2011 @ 1:13 am

    Heh. I’m reminded of Cameron Diaz’ statement back in 2004 that if (in effect) Bush were re-elected, rape would be legalized. I strongly considered paying her a visit after the election to claim my due.

    [The preceding was humor. The commenter does not advocate non-consensual sex with Cameron Diaz. Or any other sex for that matter, unless you double-bag.]

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  17. Anonymous
    August 4th, 2011 @ 2:40 am

    My neuroses are much too complex for these middling armchair diagnosticians.

  18. Paul Marks
    August 4th, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

    Medicalize-your-opponents – an old tactic of the left. The Marxist (Frankfurt School) Theodor Adorno did this with his “The Authoritarian Personality ” smear campaign, and his pal at Columbia, Richard Hofstadter did it with is allied “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” smear campaign. The left hate it when it is pointed it that their “liberalism” (for example their demands that dissenting opinions be censored) is not liberalism at all. And they love to “medicalize” their opponents with half baked head-doc stuff. When we say “you are crazy” we mean it as an insult (we do not pretend it is a medical diagnosis) – the left pretend they are being “scientific”.

    As for the “neoconfederate” B.S. – this is just a form of the left’s standard “racist, racist, racist” attack line. Oddly enough the real Confederacy followed fiscal and monetary polices rather like those of Obama – for example high income tax rates on the rich (just as Obama wants – and the South did this much more than Lincoln did in the Civil War) and wild government spending and monetary expansion (again much worse than the Union in the Civil War). The idea that the Confederacy represented free enterprise and limited government is utterly absurd – for example they nationalized industry and transport, anyone think that someone like Salmon P. Chase would have done that?

  19. Anonymous
    August 4th, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

    Can’t see what isn’t there, John.

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