blue bits. red rocks.


The sad fact is, most of the things Stephen Colbert says in character are not even half as outrageous, horrid or vile as what conservatives actually say and do. Like, out loud and in front of other humans. They say vile things about the poor, about women, about LGBT people, about minorities. It’s disgusting and it’s heartbreaking. I wish to god all these assholes were figments of my overactive liberal imagination, and I’m constantly surprised to find out they’re not. Conservatives are flipping the f*ck out over Colbert replacing Letterman, and it is just adorable

Americans… are the most idealistic people in the whole world. Their only danger is that the idealist can easily become the idolator. And the American has become so idealistic that he even idealises money. G.K. Chesterton

With the red hair of one she-urchin in the gutter I will set fire to all modern civilization. Because a girl should have long hair, she should have clean hair; because she should have clean hair, she should not have an unclean home: because she should not have an unclean home, she should have a free and leisured mother; because she should have a free mother, she should not have an usurious landlord; because there should not be an usurious landlord, there should be a redistribution of property, because there should be a redistribution of property, there shall be a revolution. That little urchin with the gold-red hair, whom I have just watched toddling past my house, she shall not be lopped and lamed and altered; her hair shall not be cut short like a convict’s; no, all the kingdoms of the earth shall be hacked about and multilated to suit her. She is the human and sacred image; all around her the social fabric shall sway and slip and fall; the pillars of society shall be shaken, and the roofs of ages come rushing down; and not one hair of her head shall be harmed. G.K. Chesterton

Yeah, it’s personal for me. The same principle that made Brendan Eich unemployable at Mozilla, despite his incredible achievements in his field, and his public pledge to treat gay people fairly, makes me and many of my friends and colleagues unemployable. I do not want to live in a world in which gay people get fired for their sexuality, when their sexuality has nothing to do with their ability to do their job. But the kind of people who ousted Brendan Eich want to live in a world in which expressing the “wrong” opinion about same-sex marriage makes one unemployable, even if that opinion has nothing to do with their ability to execute their professional responsibilities. This is not going to end well. Gay-Rights McCarthyism Takes Brendan Eich Scalp

We all have ideological commitments. We all have a priori assumptions. It just so happens that this law has exposed those of conservatives in particularly revealing ways. They have taken it as an article of faith that Obamacare can’t possibly work, even though universal health care has been proven to work successfully in dozens of other countries. But their belief was never about evidence. Rather, they start with their ideological commitment: small government is good and universal health care is bad. Then they work backward to find some evidence. This has been obvious in the scattershot, cynical, opportunistic and usually false arguments that have been trotted out against the law. And all the while, their ideological commitment prevents them from seeing that this law literally, tangibly makes real people better off. When we let our ideology drive us to such an extent, we’re in dangerous waters. As I said, this is true of all of us. For me, my intense anti-racist beliefs, if not tethered to real people on the ground, could lead me to support counterproductive policies that don’t take account of real world conditions. So it is the ACA. A law that is an obvious good is endlessly lied about and criticized. It seems a little bit strange that the people against the law don’t realize that in the future the things they’re advocating will be looked upon as we now look at child labor and other similar practices from a century ago. We all need to examine our commitments and be willing to set them down long enough to consider the well-being of the people right in front of us. People are More Important than Politics

Contemporary American conservatism is anti-intellectual, authoritarian, racist, white supremacist, cult-like, and hostile to empirical reality. Its media elites and political figures have carefully cultivated such values and beliefs for their own immediate and long-term political gains. As has been suggested elsewhere, the Republican Party and its white herrenvolk Tea Party base are useful idiots, a rich people’s poor people’s movement that advances the interests of the former over the latter. Because conservatism and racism are the same thing in post civil rights America, the Republican Party is a de facto white identity organization, one that is dedicated to maintaining White Power and White Privilege. White Privilege, Republicans, and the ‘Just World’ Fallacy

The White Right is so mired in racism and white supremacy that it is the cognitive screen through which they process reality. Contemporary American conservatism is a racist ideology. Its adherents actually believe that they are anti-racists. Such delusions are not easily corrected or therapeutized. They Willfully Misread Daniel Patrick Moynihan: George Will and Paul Ryan are the Real “Poverty Pimps’

In The Conservative Mind, Kirk defends the conservation of prejudice and prescription against ideologies of radical change. He, like Burke and Babbitt in earlier ages, understood the consequences of giving way to a Rousseauian and Baconian spirit of change that have united in the twentieth century under the mantle of humanitarianism. The spiritual union of romanticism and scientism makes defending tradition even more difficult than it was for Burke. The promise of science and technology animated by humanitarian sympathy makes those who defend tradition appear to be obstacles to social and scientific progress. Conservatives, it is said, defend tradition and custom because they are unenlightened; they wish to maintain the conventional order because it preserves their undeserved privileges and keeps the lower classes from rising. The result is social and economic inequality that must be dismantled by a state that is adequately empowered to redistribute wealth and reorganize society in accordance with ideologically-driven theories of universal rights. Russell Kirk’s Fifth Canon of Conservative Thought

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…one thing that strikes me is the remarkable extent to which American conservatism in 2014 seems to be about defending and promoting patrimonial capitalism even though we aren’t there yet. Paul Krugman

…American conservatism is still, after all these years, largely driven by claims that liberals are taking away your hard-earned money and giving it to Those People. Indeed, race is the Rosetta Stone that makes sense of many otherwise incomprehensible aspects of U.S. politics. That Old-Time Whistle

“Constitutional conservatism” makes it possible for conservative political folks to have it every which way. Whether they win or lose elections, they represent the “real Americans” who represent the only legitimate constituency. If they indulge in vote-suppression activities, that’s because they are simply trying to thwart the efforts of the 47% who seek an inherently illegitimate majority. If they still lose, that’s because liberals have bought votes with government benefits, or have benefitted from media bias, or are complicit in a bipartisan conspiracy abetted by RINOs. Hey, Conservatives! Are You Winning or Losing?

The whole event must be a nightmare for anyone who seriously cares about conservative PR. As I listened, I was reminded of Theodore Roosevelt’s famous proverb: “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Based on my experience at CPAC, it seems conservatives have the stick part down. But speaking softly? Well, not so much. Speak Softly, Conservatives

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It is equally ridiculous to treat American Democrats as “Hamiltonians.” In the late 18th century, favoring a strong nation state was not a leftist position. It was identified with mercantile power and in Hamilton’s case with distrust of mass democracy and the internationalism of the French Revolution. Not all advocates of state power should be equated with Obama partisans, any more than Jefferson and his partisans should be seen as “conservatives” in their time. In the late 18th century, the political struggle in the U.S. was between nationalists and regionalists, and it is impossible to make that struggle correspond to our present situation. Our polity is too multicultural to be compared to the early American nation state, which was relatively homogeneous culturally and religiously, and we live with a highly centralized welfare state that two national parties are trying to get hold of to accommodate their bases. It is therefore misleading to paste worn political labels onto a political present to which they have no significant relation. What we now see is a ritualized battle between two party blocs centered on the fruits of an expanding administrative state. And from what I can tell, most voters seem delighted with this arrangement and would be furious if we tried to change it. Conservatives, Liberals, or Social Democrats?

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