EmmaZahn's picture

    Winning with Smack Talk

    Kevin Drum @ Mother Jones:

    "I've been browsing through conservative websites tonight, and the amount of crowing over the 'Obama downgrade' is really pretty remarkable. S&P made it crystal clear that brinksmanship over the debt ceiling was the reason for the downgrade, and Republicans not only provoked the brinksmanship and bragged about it for months, but have since gleefully promised to repeat their performance at every opportunity. And yet they're now insisting that this is all Obama's fault. It's a display of chutzpah that's shameless even by their standards."

    Me, too. That is, I've been browsing, too. Not so much websites as twitter feeds and there sure is a lot of crowing. Serendipitously, on one of my non-political feeds a couple of guys got into a heated sports-related exchange that cost one of them some followers. He dismissed the exchange as smack talk, a new-to-me term, so I looked it up. Check it out and think about how 'smack' is the current style of political gamesmanship. Conservatives are just better at it so they are 'Winning' for the moment.

    Guess sportsmanship is Another Norm Down for the Count.

    This turned out to be a very interesting rabbit hole.  Apparently smack talk is not unknown in philosophical circles where it is known as eristic dialogue. Plato satirized it and Schopenhauer catalogued it so it has been around forever.  What it is:

    a type of dialogue or argument where the participants do not have any reasonable goal. The aim is to win the argument, not to potentially discover a true or probable answer to any specific question or topic.

    See.  It really is all about 'Winning".


    It's dismaying that the Repubs have such huge, loud and perfectly coordinated megaphones in which to immediately scream in unison whatever lies they're currently doling out.   And we all know they have no shame about lying.  Out-shouting them seems unlikely, if not impossible.  Quiet, thoughtful reminders on our part of the incorrectness what they're saying, get steam-rolled.  Persistence and repetition seem to be our only choices for meaningful response.

    Presently the Republicans do seem more organized and goodness knows they can stay on message.  To me that is a bug, not a feature.

    If you haven't already, check out the Schopenhauer link.  I was amazed at how many of the tactics from his book The Art of Being Right are used by the Right.

    It is most obviously about winning. At ALL cost, up to and including the destruction of our country. They are not patriots. They are playground bullies. Terrorists. Bad sports. Sore losers AND sore winners. All the things that Americans have mostly hated in the past. They have no sense of community, no sense of fair play or justice.

    They are bullying our President, and all the values we hold dear, and instead of trying to bolster our President, some are helping them beat him up, albeit for different reasons. They are behaving like terrorists, making demands that are not in the country's best interests. They lost an election and are using every dirty tactic they can to retain their power, even though they lost. When they "win," they gloat instead of being gracious, rubbing our noses in the loss.

    And they are being aided and abetted in destroying this President by members of his own party that have not gotten as much of what they wanted as they felt like they should get. They call him weak, ineffective, a traitor, a liar, for God's sake, a republican (and you couldn't call him anything worse.) With friends like that, who needs enemies?

    Well, keep at it. Primary him. Stay home. Beat the living shit out of him. But it would be easier just to vote republican. And it will accomplish the same thing.

    If you really want to promote progressive ideals, why not just promote progressive ideals? Hold rallies, find like people and devise ways to make your "positive" voices heard. Give the President progressive people in congress to back him up.

    I know there are many of you who honestly believe that a true liberal President can be elected in America. I WISH a true liberal President could be elected, but you know what they about wishing in one hand...

    I've never heard that expression, but let me try to finish it for you ... Wishing in one hand, isn't worth electing two Bushes?


    Urban Dictionary: Wish in one hand, shit in the other.

    "Wish in one hand, shit in the other. See which one gets filled first." When a person wants the impossible.

    Is this just a general rant provoked by my post.  YOU aren't really talking to ME, are you?    Because you obviously know nothing about my radical economics nor my feelings about Obama.

    That's okay.  Rant away.

    FWIW, I took it as her agreeing with you, not ranting at you.

    I absolutely was agreeing with you, not ranting against you. Sorry that I didn't make that clear.

    I see where I caused the confusion...I started out with agreeing, then pivoted to speak to others, not you, w/o making that clear. Sorry Emma. I think you are spot on.

    Thanks and sorry I misunderstood.


    Causing a downgrade is actually a plus for Tea Party conservatives, and not just to score political points against Obama.   They are trying to permanently shrink government and also (stupidly) keep the budget in permanent surplus.  Raising the cost of government borrowing is one way to drive the government out of the borrowing game.

    Makes you wonder if they ever heard of Pyrrhic victories.  :-/

    Being an accountant I experience cognitive dissonance when I hear politicos speak of balanced budgets.  For me, the only way for books or a budget not to balance is to not count/recognize one side of a transaction.  I always wonder which politicos actually mean that rather than that spending match revenue. Hmmm.

    I do not doubt the long-term intent may have been to raise the cost of borrowing but not to drive government out of the game.  More likely for some it was a desire to increase yields to people with surplus cash from unexpired tax cuts as well as to drive more of it into gold and other 'safe havens'.

    Short-term their strategy reduced rather than increased Treasury yields.

    Even though the U.S. treasury markets was downgraded over the weekend, investors have reacted by turning to treasuries as a safe haven, MarketBeat's Matt Phillips reports


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