Envy and jealousy: puttin’ the Irish down

When it comes to political blogging, I tend to follow folks on the basis of the quality of their writing as opposed to the quality of their ideology.  Right now, my favorite political blogger by far is Charlie Pierce.  Pierce has also been a sportswriter (and still pens on occasion at Grantland, if you’d prefer to skip the politics) and that will sometimes show up to make a point.

Which is why I enjoy the lede to this post so much.  You don’t have to agree with his politics to get a kick out of the insult.


Filed under Envy and Jealousy

61 responses to “Envy and jealousy: puttin’ the Irish down

  1. Lrgk9

    Who was that guy who had the temerity to nail 95 theses (figuratively) to the Catholic Church door and oppose Sacerdotalism back in the day?

  2. RynoRedhawk

    “I tend to follow folks on the basis of the quality of their writing as opposed to the quality of their ideology”

    That quote is a wheelbarrow full of horseshit topped with two sprays of Febreeze designed to mask the smell. You’re as progressive as they come.

    Just be honest and own it. Don’t try to cover it up by effectively saying “I’m just interested in good writing and thoughtful debates.”
    Those are words spoken by someone who is trying to hide their true feelings.

    • I expect to vote Libertarian in the next election, as I’ve done for more than the last two decades. So I don’t know WTF you’re talking about.

      • TimRankine

        “You’re as progressive as they come” — and that was intended as an insult? Progress, you bitch!

      • Rick

        Sigh…these are dark times to be a moderate liberatarian.

        Sorry, I of course mean secular-progressive-marxist-multiculturalist.

        • In a world where you can have Liberal Fascism, there’s a place for Marxist Libertarianism.😉

        • You think you keed… check out this quote:

          A former member of the Kentucky State Police and the Department of Homeland Security, Webb-Edgington also helped launch Kentucky’s DHS-funded Fusion Center and told the crowd at a 2010 Lincoln Dinner, “We don’t need any more socialists, communists, or libertarians in the Republican Party.”

          • Dirt Road Resident

            Mr. Webb-Edgington is just being a tool for the neo cons. Fact is, they still haven’t gotten over Rand Paul cleaning the clock of Mitch’s hand picked hack back in ’09. I hope some libertarian leaning individual cleans Mitch’s clock too.

    • gastr1

      Charles Pierce is a pretty damn good writer, though. Again, read Grantland if you just want the sports.

  3. Hogbody Spradlin

    “Perennial Outback Bowl Contender” was enough to make me smile, even though the guy’s writing is borderline EDSBS, and just a titch slanted.

  4. Gravidy

    Senator, I have a serious question for you which I hope will not launch a political slap fight. Which right-of-center bloggers catch your eye for the quality of their writing? It isn’t a gotcha question. I read lots of political blogs and columns, and I’d really like to know. As you’d expect, most of the stuff I read leans to the right. My favorite lefty columnist is Camille Paglia, but I can’t find her stuff much any more. Like you, I enjoyed reading her columns purely for her writing style, even though I disagreed with her more often than not.

    • My favorite libertarian blogger is Radley Balko. He’s done some righteous work on police power abuse and his blog is a must read for me.

      As for right-of-center, I like Dave Weigel at Slate for politics and Daniel Larison for foreign policy.

      • Doug

        Seconded on Larison. I’m as big a lefty pinko as they come and I still think he’s brilliant.

      • Slaw Dawg

        Thanks for these tips. I despair of well written, well reasoned political voices these days anywhere on the spectrum. That’s why I miss Bill Buckley. I didn’t always agree with him, but boy, could he write and how he could speak! And he let his conservative principles take him to what must have been difficult conclusions on drugs, the Panama Canal and other issues. (I recommend Woody Allen’s classic interview of Buckley for all those with warped senses of humor (google-able).) On the other side of the POV spectrum, my fave is also long gone–dearly departed Molly Ivins–what she did with the humorous zinger supported by hard fact Jon Stewart can only envy.

    • Cosmic Dawg

      Some of my favorite libertarians are at reason.com – including Balko. Senator, you should google George Selgin, a great libertarian / Austrian Econ professor at UGA. If you google Mises and Selgin you’ll find a great talk he gave on the failure of the Fed to fulfill its mandates.

  5. Faulkner

    That was a waste of my time.

  6. McDawg

    who is envious and jealous? which blogger?-pretty weak article

    • My envy and jealousy posts are about appreciation of another blogger’s writing. So I’m the one who’s e & j.

      Again, it’s not linked for the politics. I love the lede.

  7. AlphaDawg

    I’m a registered Independant, have been since mid 90s. Voted mostly Libertarian in local elections, and mostly Repub in national elections. The only democratic politician I could see myself vote for is Lieberman. I haven’t found any Liberal bloggers I read regularly.

    The best Libertarian Blogger on the web IMHO is timnerenze.com.

  8. J

    “Translated from the original Bullshittian, this reads: We are not acting to prevent any women from obtaining birth control, it’s just that our religious teachings force us to prevent the women who work for us from obtaining birth control.”

    And of course, they are not preventing any women from obtaining birth control. They are just telling those women they will not pay for it.

    This guy is literally a mental midget. It is such a bad argument that it is laughable it was printed, and hysterical that you felt the need to post it.

    • The issue at this point isn’t about payment. It’s about coverage.

      • J

        Whether you want to call it “paying for it” or “covering it”, it is the same thing. It is the Govt forcing the Catholic Church to do something that goes against its religious beliefs. And that is why there is no honesty in the debate.

        All we hear from Libs is “war on women”/”preventing women from obtaining birth control” theme is a complete bunch of BS. There is no prevention. This is nothing more than the Obama Admin creating a controversy that they think will attract women voters in November. And it has not worked.

        And your comment that “it’s about coverage” is about the farthest thing from a libertarian view there is, because no libertarian would side with the Govt in an issue that forces a church to act against its religious beliefs.

        • I wasn’t advocating for either side here. I was just pointing out that you’ve phrased the point of contention incorrectly.

          And your “it has not worked” isn’t accurate either, judging from the enormous gender gap Romney faces right now.

          • J

            I have not phrased the point of contention incorrectly. The moron you cited to said, and I quote again: “Translated from the original Bullshittian, this reads: We are not acting to prevent any women from obtaining birth control, it’s just that our religious teachings force us to prevent the women who work for us from obtaining birth control.” Not covering birth control is not preventing women from getting it. There is not one woman in America that is prevented from obtaining birth control by their employer.

            The gender gap has not increased since this manufactured controversy.

        • Always Someone Else's Fault

          My church thinks paying taxes or government usage fees is a violation of God’s order. How would a libertarian deal with that one?

          • Cojones

            “Render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar’s; render unto God what is God’s.” How does your church get around that tithing passage? The intent is to tell society to follow society’s rules, pay taxes for support of gov for all the people, don’t be a scofflaw. Separation of Church and State is implied, getting along with the government is insisted. Just because my Bible 101 course (New and Old Testament) was taught by a Jewish prof doesn’t mean he is wrong (with deference to Bluto) with that translation.

            • Always Someone Else's Fault

              “My church” is a hypothetical church, meaning it doesn’t exist. But I’m starting one if J gets elected.

  9. Cosmic Dawg

    My Good e-Friend Senator,
    I can take a joke, but with all due respect, I thought Pierce’s first paragraph was not very funny and the kind of noise a schoolboy makes as he’s wagging his fingers in his ears from the sidelines.
    What was most interesting is that he followed his own flawed and mean-spirited argument with a cogent, intelligent quote dripping with kindness and understanding from the church about the right of a private institution not to provide birth control.
    By the way, I think it is *amazingly* screwed up that we are even having this conversation in the good ol’ USA. The federal govt shouldn’t be giving money to churches or soup kitchens – they have no authority to take the money I earned that I want to give to my Athens soup kitchen and redistribute it to a soup kitchen or institution in a state where they need some votes. It should go without saying that an argument between a private institution and the federal government about contraception means we have gone very far afield indeed.
    Starting with the third paragraph, Pierce goes on to lie about the church’s position (a big difference between providing and preventing birth control), mock the church for using the courts (as if the church shouldn’t have access to the courts because it lost battles against sexual abuse!), and then provides another quote from a reasonable Catholic that (again) makes him look like the not-very-smart, not very funny, snarky mcsnarksalot that he is.

    I am, however, looking forward to you posting some Balko here. Hey, it’s the offseason…

    • By the way, I think it is *amazingly* screwed up that we are even having this conversation in the good ol’ USA. The federal govt shouldn’t be giving money to churches or soup kitchens…

      I agree. But once the feds do, it shouldn’t be their place to decide what strings should be attached to the money.

  10. Always Someone Else's Fault

    I’m a Republican voting for Obama in 2012, and it’s largely because of issues like this. Until the Right can abandon its persecution fetish, I just don’t see how they can govern effectively. The ideological litmus testing under Bush was rather scary. It would be even worse with the current crowd lining up behind Romney.

    Spare me the “Obama is 10X worse” anecdotes. Until a liberal version of Monica Goodling shows up at Justice, or Biden starts putting College Democrats in charge of billion dollar procurements in the middle of a war zone, I’m not interested in them.

    Very nice to see people on all sides stepping out to read a cross-section of opinion that seeks to be informed as well as persuasive towards an ideology. It’s a good step towards understanding that good people and good ideas can come from all directions.

    • Always Someone Else's Fault

      And I’m voting for Obama because I live in a swing state where the polling’s a dead heat. If I were deeper South, I would probably write in Bluto.

    • Cosmic Dawg

      I appreciate your frustration, but the left makes its living off persecution fetishes. And you’d better believe they have an ideological litmus test over there, too…
      I agree with you that the Republicans can’t see their own faults, and it is very difficult to tell who is worse, Bush or Obama, but it wouldn’t take you very long to put a list together matching those two corruption for corruption. Seriously, you cannot think this has been a successful three years…

      Check out http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/ – sounds like he’s got the Senator’s vote, and he’s got mine, too. This is not a protest vote for me, I’d be pleased as punch if Johnson got in. Civil liberty *and* economic liberty.

      For others, it might be simply refusing to reward bad behavior. If the D and R can’t get their houses in order, if the R’s keep screwing with free markets and the D’s keep screwing with civil rights, what do they stand for, anyway?! And both are so dirty it ought to make anyone of conscience – of any political stripe – sick.

      Any vote placed elsewhere will create a tiny, tiny incentive for real change, and the two major parties witll shift to accomodate your (and my) disgust. In the meantime, maybe we can get a third party in there in the process.

      • At present, I do intend to vote for Johnson.

        But it’s a stretch to say Obama’s administration matches Bush’s “corruption for corruption”.

        • Cosmic Dawg

          Give it five years, he’s on pace.

          Except for even more insane spending (Bush would have gotten around to those levels with another four years and a “financial crisis”) they are brothers from another mother. The only substantial difference is that one was wears a blue jersey and one wears red. People who get up in arms about one and love the other are not being very honest with themselves, imho…

          I could go down the list of the startling parallels in their records…

      • Always Someone Else's Fault

        Personally, I don’t think the larger problem in this country is in the White House. It’s in Congress. Between gerrymandering and lobbying rules, we’re getting ideological purists beholden to special interests. It’s the one branch of government that really has no path to reform. Which is why I prefer a certain personality running the executive branch.

        But as a guy who spent his college years and most years since studying Aristotle, Plato and other major rhetoricians over the years, I can say that the rhetoric emanating from the far right is really beginning to scare me. It’s beginning to echo substantively Europe circa 1930s. Not from the mainstream, but from the periphery – Beck, Bachmann, et al. Yes, the radical left can produce some disturbing commentary as well, but those people don’t even make it to the Iowa caucuses, much less past them. They are not prominent voices within the Democratic Party.

        I see the point in a vote for Johnson. I get it. We can’t get to “the good” if we keep voting for lesser evils. But the entirety of American history says you reform politics by forcing one of the two major parties to reconstitute its coalition. Hopefully the presence and success of candidates like Johnson can at least spur that. If Johnson and his successors can displace one of the two parties, all the better.

        • Cosmic Dawg

          I agree that congress is less accountable but the Pres is in the pocket of the money guys, too.

          I think one man’s “ideology” is another man’s “principle” – I’m not sure we have to worry about ideologues and lobbyists – my belief and fear is our congressmen have NO ideology at all save whichever way the wind blows the money…

          As for the rhetoric, it doesn’t bother me. I have trouble with the actions from the left and the right that are equally abominable. You say Beck scares you like Germany, but he’s a civil libertarian, I believe – yet Obama (for just one example) passes the NDAA which allows him to suspend your right to a trial simply by labelling you an “enemy combatant”, and you’re kicking around voting for him?

          • Always Someone Else's Fault

            Ideology is not a scare word for me. It’s come to mean “cult” in certain political circles, but everyone starts with certain assumptions and applies them in ways we call principles, which is what I consider ideology. Disagreements always center on the validity of the respective assumptions. Not a big deal on its own, and I think sports blogs prove we can all bring radically different biases and perspectives to real discussions – and by “real discussions,” I mean people actually listening to each other and trying to understand each other’s point of view. Understanding doesn’t always mean agreement, but it does mean someone took the time to see things from someone else’s perspective. Crucial to a working democracy, IMO.

            Congress is now filled with people who take pride in the fact that they refuse to understand the issue from the other perspective. It’s how they win primaries gerrymandered districts. That bothers me a lot. It has significant ripple effects beyond Capital Hill.

            Rhetoric always concerns me. Ideas are words, and words always precede action. Words are actions, when you think about it. That’s one of my operating assumptions, and I am betting you would take issue with it. That’s fine. Just so long as you don’t accuse me of betraying America’s destiny, or not being a real America, or being brainwashed by liberal elites or some other evil force.

            No blog post can cover every contingency or permutation. I could point to a hundred possible points of contention in this post alone. I am not trying to convince you of anything other than the fact I have spent just as much time on the issues as you and arrived at different conclusions based on different experiences.

            Thanks for taking the time to talk though this, rather than tossing around insults and self-righteous rationalizations.

          • Cojones

            Cosmic, you obviously haven’t read the Patriot Act closely.

  11. NRBQ

    It’s called knee-jerk for a reason, Bluto.

    You can’t win.

  12. shane#1

    I am an independent and have no political philosophy. As a matter of fact, IMO, anyone who locks himself into a philosophy no matter what the situation is an idiot. I am for whatever works, as long as it’s constitutional enough to sneak it past the Supreme Court. I am sick and tired of labels, ala, liberal and conservative, moderate, and progressive. Don’t pigeonhole me by God, I am literate and I can think for myself. If Notre dame doesn’t want to cover contraceptives then the Feds can back the fuck up or ND can campaign for every Catholic vote to ditch this administration. They haven’t done shit for the economy and Obama can’t even present a budget. The guy is in over his head and it’s time to fire him. Then if Romney or whoever can’t get things moving then fire him too!

    • shane#1

      And another thing, while ya’ll have my dander up. I saw all the disrespect shown to LBJ on this blog yesterday. I wish he was here now. Whatever you think of his ideas, he got things done. The guy passed more legislation than any president in my memory. He just got bogged down and let Vietnam consume his presidency. However, if he was CIC there would be no log jam in congress. Either this economy would get moving or heads would roll. Johnson understood power and he wasn’t afraid to use it.

      • Cojones

        “Johnson understood power and he wasn’t afraid to use it.”-Beginning in Deaf Smith County in his first Senate election (where he won by such a small margin that he was nicknamed “Landslide Johnson), where a US Marshal investigating voter fraud was shot in the back 3 times and it was ruled a suicide by the local coroner.

        I am forever thankful, however, that he took up the Civil Rights Legislation attributed to Kennedy and got it passed using that power you just mentioned.

        Could have joined in several hundred times on issues we see differently, but want to lobby for Legalized pot instead. If it was legal, many of us would be kicked back, absorbing all the “other side’s” points and uttering little platitudes like “mox nix”. Since it isn’t legal, you guys have driven me to commit an illegal act. Right now.

        Smoke’em if you got’em.

      • Dog in Fla

        “Power demands a certain detachment, the coup d’oeil Clausewitz thinks of as the commander’s supreme gift; an empathy with one’s foe; above all, persuasiveness to get and keep the right allies…Johnson was less able to impose his myth on the relevant people than was Ho Chi Minh. And imposing one’s myth is the real test of power—not simply calling spirits from the vasty deep, but getting them to respond.”


        • shane#1

          Ho had absolute power, Johnson did not. Johnson was a product of FDR’s new deal. He believed in in New Deal politics. Now we know that the government can’t fix everything but LBJ thought everything possible. He should have listened to his mentor. Dick Russell, about Vietnam. “You don’t want to get in a land war in Asia”, Russell told him. LBJ said, “Hell, I know that, but I am not going to be the first President to lose a goddamn war.What can I do?” Russell said “The only way out that I can see where we meet our treaty obligations is to put some dictator in that is so awful that we can’t support him.” I don’t remember LBJ’s reply, but the quotes come from “The Johnson Tapes”.

          • Cojones

            Richard B Russell- the godking of Robert’s Rules of Order. Memories of the Water Lab come to mind.

            • shane#1

              Russell and LBJ remained close friends even though Russell was holding up Johnson’s Civil Rights bill in the Senate. The Senate was a Gentleman’s club in the old days. Conflicts rarely became personal. Unlike today there was little animosity. Ol’ Hummon and George McGovern were close friends though miles apart in their opinions. Herman once told a friend of mine that if their was one true Christan in the Senate it was George McGovern.

        • Cojones

          Good review by Willis. He and Caro can both write passionately, truthfully and convincingly of political chicanery while zeroing in on the politician’s productivity in spite of his unpopular personality to peers.

          Sorta like us.

  13. Ed Kilgore

    As a left-of-center political blogger who comes to this site for a respite after my twelve daily posts, I’m in a bit of shock at this thread. All I’ll say about Charlie Pierce and quite a few other eloquent bloggers Left and Right is to observe that the words flow faster and fancier when one is never afflicted by doubt.

    Despite our political differences here, I trust we can all come together next week to celebrate the ignominous end of Craig James’ senatorial campaign.

    • If Ed won’t toot his own horn, I’ll do it for him. You can read his stuff here. I do, regularly.

      As for celebrating the demise of Craig James’ senatorial hopes and dreams, if he winds up back at the WWL, that’ll be a textbook case of a Pyrrhic victory.😉

      • Cojones

        Hispanics not “special” enough to receive a comment on immigration policy from Romney? Rubio isn’t enough to turn that shit around.

    • Dog in Fla

      Ed also regularly rocks The Cabal through a series of piquant questions


      Eloquent bloggers of the Right? For today’s lesson in false equivalency, here are some never afflicted by doubt who didn’t make the cut:

      “A sample of the swill:

      -Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin denounced Fluke as a “femme-agogu tool.”

      -The right-wing site Jawa Report illustrated a post about Fluke with a picture of a tattoo that reads “Semen Demon.”

      -Pam Geller wrote that Fluke is “banging it five times a day” and that “calling this whore a slut was a softball.”

      -Accuracy in Media’s Don Irvine called her a “skank.”

      -Former CPAC Blogger of The Year, Ace of Spades, called Fluke a “shiftless rent-a-cooch from East Whoreville.”

      -Michelle Malkin guest blogger Doug Ross used “Got Slut?” in a headline and suggested Fluke suffered from “nymphomania.”

      -Dana Loesch complained the controversy surrounding Limbaugh’s three-day “slut” campaign represented a “manufactured” story. (This, before Limbaugh responded to the “manufactured” story by issuing a rare public statement.)


  14. Thanks for that, Senator. That was hilarious.