January 07, 2004

Dean Hate

Over-the-top Bush-hatred is matched by over-the-top Dean-hatred.

In the new Club for Growth ad, a farmer says, "Howard Dean should take his tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading ...," as his wife finishes, "... Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show back to Vermont, where it belongs!"

Last year I voted (kicking and screaming) for a local tax increase for schools that lost money due to the recession. (Oregon got hit hardest of all 50 states.) I drink at least one latte a day. I eat sushi once in a while. I like Volvos and I read the New York Times. I also think Hollywood makes some of the best movies ever (along with some of the worst). Iíve never been to Vermont, but it is often compared to my own state of Oregon which I truly and dearly love.

So count the number of ways people just like me were screamed at in the new anti-Dean ad. Count the number of ways the rightís new bigoted ad disgusts me.

From the same article:

As to the shocking latte-drinking charge, it should be noted that Vermont has just two Starbucks stores. Iowa has eight. Texas, the home state of President Bush, has 395.
Downtown Portland alone has 395 Starbucks, which is not quite enough as far as Iím concerned. Free advice to GOP strategists: Donít play that ad in my state.

(Via Jeff Jarvis, who just keeps getting linked around here.)

Posted by Michael J. Totten at January 7, 2004 07:32 PM
Comments

I cannot agree with you more about how idiotic this ad is. I live in Richmond, VA the capital of the Confederacy and most of the grocery stores around here feature sushi made in store. There are sushi restaurants and lots of frequently mobbed Starbucks. It's such an idiotic ad that imo is actually looking down on the people they claim to be talking to. Also, that woman in the commercial is seriously scary. Her voice is reptilian.

Posted by: linden at January 7, 2004 07:47 PM

It's a stupid ad, and actually bugged me the first time I saw it, because I thought: I do some of those things; so does everyone I know; and I'm not sure what car ownership has to do with political philosophy. I realize that they were trying to target that commercial to middle-class moderates in Iowa, so I suppose that they wanted to emphasize things that are uncommon in such a group (and thus somewhat tainted anyways) and use them to portray Dean as "not like us". OK, fine. It wouldn't work on me, but it wasn't meant for me. It's just a shame that name calling has replaced honest discourse in the political sphere (assuming that we ever had honest discourse in the political sphere).

Posted by: Jeff Medcalf at January 7, 2004 08:16 PM

I agree on the ad, even though I like to poke fun at sushi eaters and latte drinkers like anyone who grew up in Roseburg, Oregon, I indulge in those activities from time to time and have a hard time connecting them to political philosophy.

However, the availability of good coffee, in my book anyway, is an indicator of good policy decisions. For example, the lack of good coffee in Philadelphia, again to me, is a good sign that past mayors did a pretty bad job here. That it's becoming easier to get something other than Dunkin Donuts or overpriced brown water served in a seemingly good shop indicates to me that Philadelphia is moving in the right direction. It's got a long way to go before it's as excellent a city as Portland, but...

Posted by: Nathan at January 7, 2004 08:32 PM

"I realize that they were trying to target that commercial to middle-class moderates in Iowa, so I suppose that they wanted to emphasize things that are uncommon in such a group"

Things that they think are uncommon in such a group, but I wouldn't make assumptions about Iowa or Missouri or anywhere else these days. Didn't somebody write recently about how what used to be bohemianism has become commercialized and spread all over the country?

I haven't seen the ad, but it seems like a major misunderstanding of their market to me. They already have the diehard Republican types, it's the latte-drinking sushi-eating coastal liberals you would think they'd be trying to appeal to, not turn off.

Posted by: Yehudit at January 7, 2004 09:07 PM

I agree with your sentiments mostly, Michael, but it's not exactly comparing Bush to Hitler.

And the Club For Growth isn't really part of the GOP establishment; they spend as much money on ads against liberal Republicans in office as they do on Democrats.

Posted by: Hei Lun Chan at January 7, 2004 09:23 PM

I agree with everything you say except the Starbuck's stuff. You really like their coffee? Michael, go to Florence!

Posted by: Roger L. Simon at January 7, 2004 09:29 PM

The ad is stupid (as if people in Iowa don't drink Starbucks); but the point is made--Dean doesn't represent middle-America.

Regardless, it seems pointless to attack ANY Democratic dwarf before we know who's going to be their man.

Posted by: David at January 7, 2004 10:01 PM

What's even funnier is the Washington Times report on the commercial's script omits a phrase. The farmer's wife says, "body-piercing, Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show back to Vermont, where it belongs."

Howard Dean is pierced?

Posted by: Mithras at January 7, 2004 11:33 PM

Everyone in Portland is pierced or tattooed. Don't believe anyone who says they're not.

Posted by: miklos rosza at January 8, 2004 12:04 AM

Is the 'Club for Growth' affiliated with either major party? This could just as well be a Democratic anti-Dean ad as it could be Republican.

In either case it's an insulting collection of ad hominem attacks. What happened to the issues?

Posted by: Al Superczynski at January 8, 2004 01:40 AM

C'mon, there were two issues in the ad: tax hiking, gov't expanding. Dean is bad on both, Bush is only bad on gov't expanding (like farm subsidies for Iowa farmers, terrible for the poor of the world).

I doubt I'll see the ad in Slovakia (reasonably good coffee normal), but it's clearly anti-intellectual; and intellectuals, especially verbal (writing) intellectuals, are historically more anti-market than normal. (See Nozik.) How do you identify intellectuals without naming them?

Michael is one such intellectual. Without 9/11, he'd prolly be writing for Gore or some other Dem, and Bush hate would be only a little worse than Clinton hate. But Clinton's, & Bush I's, and the UN policies have allowed the small sore of Islamofascism to become a real, festering, threat to US lives, in the US. A different world after the Berlin Wall came down in 89; another different world after 9/11.

Different worlds need paradigm shifts -- and labels and categorizations. I've changed from Lib isolationism, and think Bush is lousy on many issues (too big gov't), but agree that fighting dictators is needed for reasonable security of the USA.

I wonder if Bush will push the Clinton-Albright initiated "Democratic Caucus" inside the UN? How to get the World Without Dictators? Soonest or with least US tax dollars or with fewest US (or total?) lives lost? Different criteria, different best paths. Like with poli labels.

Posted by: Tom Grey at January 8, 2004 02:24 AM

I thought the ad was pretty damn funny, myself, and I eat sushi, drink lattes, and all the rest. I thought the ad was having fun with the stereotype of the Dean/left Dem supporter while making a somewhat sly point about how narrow his support really is, and I am a little surprised at the utter lack of a sense of humor on display here. The Deanie Babies are a remarkably shrill and irritating bunch of self-righteous loony tunes, in many ways, and the ad is merely pointing that out.

The Club for Growth is independent, BTW, so slamming the Repubs for this ad is wrong. Kinda like slamming the Dems for that "Bush is a racist lyncher" ad run by the NAACP last time around.

Posted by: R C Dean at January 8, 2004 04:36 AM

The ad was goofy and purposely so. I would hardly compare this ad to the Hitler/Bush ad.

C'mon.

Posted by: mark veilleux at January 8, 2004 05:22 AM

RC: i disagree. if it bashes Dean it is right-wing. END OF STORY.

Posted by: Bimmitt at January 8, 2004 05:35 AM

I grew up in Iowa, and frankly, I still know enough people there that would think that ad is 'on the money'. Sad, but true.

Of course, they all tend to be over the age of 70, but they vote too.

Posted by: eric at January 8, 2004 06:05 AM

The ad was referring to Dean himself specifically but the white, educated, big city liberal type (which you are one), and I take it the reason you were screaming at the ad was the uncomfortable feeling of how accurate it is.

As for the ad being bigoted, surly you have a higher standard than those whose equate Bush to Hitler.

Posted by: JJ Walker at January 8, 2004 07:12 AM

So, where does this all stop? It is readily apparent just from the comments sections of various blogs that the "Red" and the "Blue" state types utterly loathe each other... and probably don't care too much for those who don't wish to get involved in their fury.

I can't think of any similar cases where a democratic nation had two highly-organized political groups who loathed each other on such a visceral, irrational level. Anyone have a case for comparison? What was the outcome, or what's the current status?

Posted by: Percy Dovetonsils at January 8, 2004 07:19 AM

This doofy ad is proof that the brilliantly malevolent neo-con cabal is an urban legend. Middle, right and left America eats sushi, drinks some kind of overpriced coffee and goes to the movies. Don't the 'Club for growth' people ever go to the mall?

If this ad is an example of the neo-con conspiracy, that conspiracy is pretty lame.

Posted by: mary at January 8, 2004 07:26 AM

So, "Bimmet", the guideline is "no enemies to the left" is it?

You should look up the history of that phrase.

Posted by: mark at January 8, 2004 07:31 AM

I'm a VRWC Deathbeast, and I thought Volvos were de rigeur for the conservative middle class. Go figure.

And my first car was a Volvo; I must be a bohemian. There goes any credibility I might have had on the right, right out the window.

Stupid ad, but still much more funny and inventive than the Bush=Hitler bit. Not that that's saying much.

Posted by: Slartibartfast at January 8, 2004 07:49 AM

mark: i am just saying that mocking people who have long hair and don't shower is worse than calling our commander-in-thief a hitler.

this bigotry toward people who wear shabby clothing (a sign of a true leftist) is the result of the inherently fascist and authoritarian attitudes, combined with low IQ, that makes up today's uneducatated Right-wing talk-radio voter.

Posted by: bimmitt at January 8, 2004 07:59 AM

Others have already observed that this is a far cry from Bush=Hitler. I'll criticize hatred when I see it, but this isn't it. Bush=Hitler is mean-spirited and in poor taste. This may be in poor taste, but it certainly isn't mean-spirited. I think the ad was intended to be funny -- whether or not it actually is funny is in the eye of the beholder. Bush=Hitler is meant to be a serious comparison. I would say that the ad is simply overly enthusiastic and does not represent "hatred" toward Dean.

Posted by: Ben at January 8, 2004 08:03 AM

"Club For Growth isn't really part of the GOP establishment they spend as much money on ads against liberal Republicans in office as they do on Democrats."

Stephen Moore's group are total insiders in the present day DC Republican establishment, very close to Grover Norquist and others who drive GOP policy and create the talking points designed to sell it. The purpose of their occasional threatened attacks to Republicans like Specter or McCain is to scare the Republican rank-and-file candidates into accepting the key Republican article of faith in this day and age: the unequivocal opposition to ANY tax increase for any reason at any time.

Posted by: markus rose at January 8, 2004 08:09 AM

Whoa! A lotta you girls need to take a deep breath. This is political theatre, not the Nuremberg laws. We all get banged up a bit by the other side on the way to the outcome (and then banged up a lot and constantly after that). I live in the gay ghetto in San Francisco, ground zero for latte, sushi, liberals and freak shows. It's a wonderful place. But all you need to do is suggest that Dubya is perhaps not totally Satan Incarnate and you'll find streams of invective spsewed all over your new frock, and not the slightest hint of humor. I'm a Tully's man myself; I prefer the dark, black, bitter, double-brewed java,but I fully support the cultural and ethnic and brandname rights of all Starbuckians everywhere. Yikes...Chill.

Posted by: Stephen at January 8, 2004 08:19 AM

Saying white, liberal arts college educated, elitist, big city liberals like sushi, NY Times, and drink fancy elitist coffee sure is over the top like saying Bush is Hitler. The difference in judging what is over the top of course from where you stand. To those on the left, saying anything that is politically incorrect but is too close to the truth is over the top.

Posted by: JJ Walker at January 8, 2004 08:21 AM

Starbucks? My father calls them either Charbucks or Tarbucks (implication: they are quite heavy-handed in roasting the beans).

Posted by: Slartibartfast at January 8, 2004 08:23 AM

Good advice. Playing ads that make fun of Dean and white, elistist liberals sure won't sway all those Bush is Hitler types in Portland.

Posted by: JJ Walker at January 8, 2004 08:24 AM

hmmm...seems to me that there is a high correlation between economic growth and the proliferation of starbucks, volvo dealerships, and sushi restaurants.

be careful what you wish for, stephen moore.

Posted by: praktike at January 8, 2004 08:34 AM

IMHO, one word describes the ad: satire

It wouldn't have been out of place on SNL or some such similar show that does political parodies.

Posted by: MB at January 8, 2004 08:39 AM

One of the biggest problems for liberals is their credibility. Liberals have a knack for saying things that are obviously and laughably untrue. Some as comparing Bush to Hitler, equating ads poking fun at Dean and his all white liberal supporters with Bush=Hitler on the same level is obviously and laughably untrue. Liberals have made stereotyping southerners as bible thumping, wife beating, gun totting, redneck trailer trash into an art form, and now all of a sudden when the table is turned, it's bigotry? If you ever wonder why liberals have a hard time persuading people, it's not because people are stupid, it's because liberals have no credibility.

Posted by: JJ Walker at January 8, 2004 08:43 AM

I enjoyed the ad, but think it's possible I may have contracted this ailment myself. I can hardly control myself when I see this guys face anymore and feel this irresistable compulsion to attack him, followed by some guilt but little remorse. I just pray the syndrome can be cured and is not progressive or contagious. If I start ranting Dean=Mao get me into a padded cell quick, okay?

Posted by: d-rod at January 8, 2004 09:06 AM

Wait a minute!

It's not like we compared Dean to Hitler now, is it? Okay, it is a stupid condescending ad that should be pulled and should never see the light of day, I agree. But it's not like we've got ads out there showing Howard Dean morphing into Sepp Dietrich now, eh?

Now there I go again; giving Ralph Reed all the good ideas!

Posted by: section9 at January 8, 2004 09:16 AM

http://209.157.64.200/focus/f-news/1049077/posts

Hohum.

Posted by: Hipocrite at January 8, 2004 09:57 AM

Geez, Louise! I had no idea I was in so much peril. No more lattes or sushi for me! I ain't even gonna LOOK at another Volvo, and I guess all my scruffy blue jeans have got to go, lest I abandon my (inherently fascist and authoritarian .. [and] low IQ) conservative ways and become another unwashed left-wing freak/true leftist like bimmit. Thanks for the heads-up, MJ. Now I gotta go take another shower, press my pants, get me a cheeseburger and a Big Red, and see if I can knock off another 5 or 6 IQ points.

Posted by: slimedog at January 8, 2004 10:42 AM

Micheal,

I would rather see this infantile ad than a serious Bush=Hitler and then a serious defence of the later.

The grossness of the later is many orders of magnitutde more revolting.

Posted by: marek at January 8, 2004 10:42 AM

Guys, Bimmitt is someone who thinks he's parodying my positions. It's kind of fun; I have a little troll of my very own.

Posted by: Kimmitt at January 8, 2004 11:03 AM

No, this ad isn't as bad as the Bush=Hitler ad at moveon.org. But it doesn't have to be as bad as the absolute worst anti-Bush ad to still be bad.

Miklos Roza: Everyone in Portland is pierced or tattooed.

I am (in one ear).

Roger L. Simon: I agree with everything you say except the Starbuck's stuff. You really like their coffee? Michael, go to Florence!

This year I am going to visit a friend in Milan, and then on to Rome. I've had French coffee (in France), and so I have an idea what I'm in for.

Starbucks isn't the best coffee, not in Portland or anywhere else, but like I said there are 395 of them right here downtown, so I'd better like it.

praktike: seems to me that there is a high correlation between economic growth and the proliferation of starbucks, volvo dealerships, and sushi restaurants.

Indeed, this is true.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 8, 2004 11:03 AM

Hahahaha funny stuff here. Why is it that the centrists are funniest? Perhaps Roger or Michael could riff on that. Humorless right-wing crazies and dour left-wing ideologues....what do they have in common? A serious humor deficit.

D-rod: By the way, I love that Dean=Mao meme....good luck getting it wide exposure. They kind of have a simlar body type too--kinda short, rotund, well...the possibilities are endless...

Posted by: Daniel Calto at January 8, 2004 11:11 AM

Not from your country, haven't seen the ad, think Dean is too right-wing, but for heaven's sake, people, lighten up a little. Perish the thought that humour should play a role in politics.

Posted by: Stu at January 8, 2004 11:11 AM

On the piercing, I believe Dean has two nipple rings with chains leading to piercings in his penis. No, wait, that was Clark.

Posted by: Jim at January 8, 2004 11:13 AM

I agree the ad is over-the-top, but I just don't see where it equates with "hate."

Posted by: Ben at January 8, 2004 11:33 AM

Aw, Kimmitt: you can share, if you want. You know I would. If we could only swap trolls...

Posted by: Slartibartfast at January 8, 2004 11:35 AM

Maybe once the novelty has worn off.

Posted by: Kimmitt at January 8, 2004 11:47 AM

Yup.

(And by the way, I'll take my cofffe with a maple walnut scone).

Posted by: karrie at January 8, 2004 12:16 PM

Um, Kimmitt? Um, may I please be your troll?

(Whew! I was nervous, but I said it! Please say yes!)

Posted by: Jim at January 8, 2004 12:16 PM

You guys are a real bunch of cards. Nice to see everyone getting along. :)

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 8, 2004 12:26 PM

"So count the number of ways people just like me were screamed at in the new anti-Dean ad. Count the number of ways the right’s new bigoted ad disgusts me."

The ad was poking fun at the type of people exactly like you. Of course the liberals have been making fun of Southerners and Christians for a long long time now, but that's all freedom of speech and artistic expression. When it's time to make fun to you, it's all of a sudden bigotry. Can your hypocrisy be anymore blatant?

Posted by: JJ Walker at January 8, 2004 12:40 PM

JJ,

Care to cite an example of Michael, specifically, caricaturing Southerners in the manner you describe? 'Cause if you can't, I think you're not quite clear on the concept of "hypocrisy".

All of which is beside the point, which is that whether it's offensive or bigoted or whatever, it's a pretty freaking stupid way to persuade people, which is what political advertising is supposed to do.

Posted by: Kurt at January 8, 2004 01:18 PM

What is even worse is that conservative commerical that depicts a white male in a suit being dragged behind a Volvo at 65 mpf, driven by a three crunchy, PC granola-hippie types who shout racial ephitats like "how's the road, rich racist whitebread!"

The voice over says something about how Howard Dean is responsible for bioted lychings against white males. It aired in Vermont BTW.

Posted by: Alternate Universe at January 8, 2004 01:24 PM

The Club for Growth ad is merely the latest stupid political ad in a long long line of stupid political ad. No use getting your panties in a wad over it. Try decaf next time at Starbucks, and lighten up.

Posted by: Zhombre at January 8, 2004 01:40 PM

You guys are a real bunch of cards. Nice to see everyone getting along.

No, just circling and looking for signs of weakness. Then, it's scream and leap.*

*Note: this isn't theft from Brad DeLong; it's theft from Larry Niven.

Posted by: Slartibartfast at January 8, 2004 01:42 PM

Kurt,

He does not need to personally utter such caricatures. The fact is these caricatures are frequently used to poke fun at Southerners and Christians. And if they are truly a form of over the top bigotry, I have never heard Mr. Totten speak out against them. That fact that he'd often refer to them as wingnuts would suggest to me he doesn't have any problems with those forms of over the top bigotry. So, if you don't think he is a hypocrite, then please enlighten me on its meaning.

Posted by: JJ Walker at January 8, 2004 01:45 PM

Of course the liberals have been making fun of Southerners and Christians for a long long time now, but that's all freedom of speech and artistic expression. When it's time to make fun to you, it's all of a sudden bigotry. Can your hypocrisy be anymore blatant?

I do not make fun of Christians or Southerners, but I'm apparently guilty of this anyway since I'm not a Republican.

Try decaf next time at Starbucks, and lighten up.

Decaf is for old people. No offense to the elderly, but I'm 33 and addicted.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 8, 2004 01:48 PM

I thought the ad was quite funny. Just like the scene from Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing. Of course that movie was made in 1989, I supposed in the past 15 years people have grown to become ever so sensitive.

Posted by: JJ Walker at January 8, 2004 01:52 PM

That fact that he'd often refer to them [Southerners and Christians] as wingnuts...

No, Jesse. Sure, I've called people wingnuts, but not because they're Christian or Southern. I've called people wingnuts if they're on the extreme left or extreme right. I couldn't care less where they live or who they pray to.

I may be a bit quick with the trigger, but at least I don't call people names because of their selection of breakfast beverages.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 8, 2004 01:53 PM

Heh. I'm secretly fond of Ovaltine, but coffee is most important. In case of extreme grogginess, I make myself a pot of espresso.

Posted by: Slartibartfast at January 8, 2004 02:31 PM

"I do not make fun of Christians or Southerners, but I'm apparently guilty of this anyway since I'm not a Republican."

I never said you personally made fun of them. And I don't care if you are a Republican or not. I also don't have a problem with anyone making fun of Republicans. My problem is your selective outrage. Somehow lampooning liberals is an over the top bigotry, whereas making fun of Southerners or Christians (which I am sure is a common occurance amongst your circle of leftist friends), wouldn't ever bother you in the slightest, let alone labeling it over the top bigotry.

Posted by: JJ Walker at January 8, 2004 03:03 PM

Not to be a nitpicker, but the number of Starbucks is not necessarily correlated to the (seeming) epithet "latte-drinking".

Of course, not every Starbucks drink is a latte. More importnatly, though, is that number (or concentration) of Starbucks is not necessarily representative of how likely the people of a state to drink coffee in general or lattes in particular. Starbucks, in fact, has a corporate strategy to choose areas and then flood them with stores. Vermont's low population density makes it a poor state in which to use such a strategy. Which is most likely why there is a low number of Starbucks there.

But don't let the facts stop you from having a good chuckle...

Posted by: Al at January 8, 2004 03:27 PM

Also, why do you liberals take it as an insult to be called "latte-drinker"? If you drink lattes, read the NYT, and drive a Volvo, you should BE PROUD of those choices! Don't shrink away from them because you fit into a stereotype of some folks out in Iowa.

Posted by: Al at January 8, 2004 03:30 PM

See that's the point. Liberals are not proud of their choices. That's why MoveOn.org removed the Bush=Hitler ads and repudiated them, even though the sentiments in the ads pretty well represent the site and its supporters.

Posted by: JJ Walker at January 8, 2004 03:42 PM

JJ Walker: whereas making fun of Southerners or Christians (which I am sure is a common occurance amongst your circle of leftist friends), wouldn't ever bother you in the slightest

And you base this on what, exactly? Your mind-reading skills?

You don't have any idea what you are talking about. Know why? Because you are talking about me. I am an expert on me. You are not. You couldn't be any more wrong than you are. But any attempt to prove you wrong only makes your accusation look reasonable.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 8, 2004 04:13 PM

OK simple question, and I'll leave the personal stuff out. Is the stereotypical liberal portrayal of Southerners and Christians over the top bigotry?

Posted by: JJ Walker at January 8, 2004 04:31 PM

JJ: Is the stereotypical liberal portrayal of Southerners and Christians over the top bigotry?

Sometimes, yes.

I say "sometimes" because, as you surely must know, there are many liberal Christians and also many Southern liberals. There are even Southern Christian liberals.

It is not even possible for every liberal to be a bigot about this.

But I do know which stereotype you're referring to, and yes it is bigoted and stupid. Just don't assume it's universal. It isn't.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 8, 2004 04:47 PM

He does not need to personally utter such caricatures. The fact is these caricatures are frequently used to poke fun at Southerners and Christians. And if they are truly a form of over the top bigotry, I have never heard Mr. Totten speak out against them. That fact that he'd often refer to them as wingnuts would suggest to me he doesn't have any problems with those forms of over the top bigotry. So, if you don't think he is a hypocrite, then please enlighten me on its meaning.
--
Well, in this context I suppose a hypocrite would be someone who has one set of standards for one group of people, and a completely different set of standards for another group of people.

In this case, you've produced not a single shred of evidence, zilch, nothing, to suggest that Michael feels about Christian southerners the way you accuse him of feeling. His comments in this thread pretty much seal the issue for me.

You on the other hand, seem to have no problem with the anti-Dean ad. To you it's all in good fun, and anyone who objects is overly sensitive. nMeanwhile, your panties seem to have gotten in quite a twist on some hypothetical anti-southern Christian bigotry, since you haven't produced a concrete example of what you're objecting to.

Or, to put it another way: Of course the conservatives have been making fun of latte drinkers and Volvo drivers for a long long time now, but that's all freedom of speech and artistic expression. When it's time to make fun to you, it's all of a sudden bigotry. Can your hypocrisy be anymore blatant?

Posted by: Kurt at January 8, 2004 05:07 PM

Kurt,
You are absolutely wrong. My point was Mr. Totten never bothered to speak out against over the top bigotry against certain groups of people before. It's like the double standard the media has regarding stories involving little white blonde girls and little black girls. When a little black girl dies, it's terrible but oh well. While little blonde girls make front page news for weeks on end.
As for making fun of Southerners, Christians or Republicans, I have already said I don't have a problem with it. If it's funny, I'll laugh. But I am not going to cry foul in one case, and sit around and pretend to not hear anything in another. Get the difference?

Posted by: JJ Walker at January 8, 2004 06:19 PM

Starbucks Yuck Decaf Starbucks Worse

The ad is stupid but I do find it terribly ammusing, in ways the sponsors surely did not intend.

Posted by: tallan at January 8, 2004 06:32 PM

Is the stereotypical liberal portrayal of Southerners and Christians over the top bigotry?
---
As for making fun of Southerners, Christians or Republicans, I have already said I don't have a problem with it.

The hell you did. You're trying to tell me that your answer to the question you posed above is "no"? Bullshit. You've been equating it with bigotry in this entire thread.

My point was Mr. Totten never bothered to speak out against over the top bigotry against certain groups of people before.

Fine. Then point out an example of a presidential campaign TV ad mocking southern Christians airing in New Hampshire, or anywhere else, that you think Michael should have criticized.

You've posted on this thread about ten times, and have yet to provide one single concrete example of anything you think was unfairly ignored by Michael. Don't you think that doing so might help your argument just a little bit?

Posted by: Kurt at January 8, 2004 06:32 PM

By the way, the argument that those darn liberals really do drink latte and drive Volvos and pierce their bodies, and therefore they shouldn't be offended by the ad is about the worst nonsense imaginable. If they had run an ad telling Al Sharpton to take his black ass back to New York, is that okay because hey, Sharpton actually is black?

Posted by: Kurt at January 8, 2004 06:37 PM

"The hell you did. You're trying to tell me that your answer to the question you posed above is "no"? Bullshit. You've been equating it with bigotry in this entire thread."

I have never equated it with bigotry. I was merely asking Mr. Totten if he thought poking fun at Southerners and Christians was as over the top bigoted as poking fun at white elitist liberals.

"Fine. Then point out an example of a presidential campaign TV ad mocking southern Christians airing in New Hampshire, or anywhere else, that you think Michael should have criticized."

No need to do that, since he already said he knew to what I was referring. Let's keep up with the program here, Kurt.

"If they had run an ad telling Al Sharpton to take his black ass back to New York, is that okay because hey, Sharpton actually is black?"

Do you equate making fun of someone's race with someone's beliefs and behavioral patterns?

Posted by: JJ Walker at January 8, 2004 07:02 PM

"By the way, the argument that those darn liberals really do drink latte and drive Volvos and pierce their bodies, and therefore they shouldn't be offended by the ad is about the worst nonsense imaginable."

Did I ever say they should or shouldn't be offended? I said they are hypicrites to be offended by one types of humor but not another when it's at a different group's expense. Get it now?

Posted by: JJ Walker at January 8, 2004 07:05 PM

"If they had run an ad telling Al Sharpton to take his black ass back to New York, is that okay because hey, Sharpton actually is black?"

No, it's OK because he is, actually, a hypocritical, race pandering felon, a shameless disgrace to the people he claims to represent, who has done more to perpetuate rascism in the last two decades than the Klan has managed to do.

That the Democratic Party in general and the eight other dwarves posing as presidential candidates cannot bring themselves to denounce and dismiss him is as indicative of their spineless moral vacuity as is their failure to admit to error in supporting the politics of appeasement.

Posted by: Jon at January 8, 2004 09:54 PM

"Over-the-top Bush-hatred is matched by over-the-top Dean-hatred."

Not in this case. Not even close. But one may hope!

If the left keeps going the way they are, it won't even be necessary. The great mass of simplisme' Americans out there in the middle are not easily led by the extremes of either side. Let the left be as shrill and laughably wrong as they wish (and who could stop them?). It serves conservatives, and America, very well.

Posted by: Jon at January 8, 2004 10:00 PM

"Decaf is for old people."

Gee, rub it in ....

Posted by: Yehudit at January 8, 2004 10:39 PM

Yehudit,

My friend Seth drinks decaf and he is two years younger than me. If you drink decaf, you're in good company.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 9, 2004 01:54 AM

Jon,

The closest comparison that comes to mind are those "moderate Muslims" in the west. The same people who scream at the top of their lungs: "GENOCIDE! ETHNIC CLEANSING! MASSACRE! WAR CRIME!" as Israel goes into Janin to root out and kill a few dozen terrorists. But when civilians are blown up in malls, on buses, in universities, you never hear a peep from them. When pressed and backed into a corner, they say: "Well of course terrorism is wrong, and we denounce it. But remember, the vast majority of Palestinians are peaceful and freedom loving."

Posted by: JJ Walker at January 9, 2004 09:08 AM

You have to take a wholistic approach to the ad. You Oregon'ers surely grok the word "wholistic?" My bet is you all can't utter 5 sentences in English without using the word.

Take someone who meets the description of every item in the Club for Growth list, and you've got someone who may indeed be welcomed in Vermont, but what ever you do, don't send them to Texas. Please. K?

Posted by: Paul A'Barge at January 9, 2004 09:45 AM

Paul: You Oregon'ers surely grok the word "wholistic?" My bet is you all can't utter 5 sentences in English without using the word.

Wow. What an odd perception of Oregon you have.

I don't ever, in any circumstances, hear anyone using that word. I hang around with liberal, literary, theater types. I live in a trendy gentrified inner-city neighborhood. I don't know who it is you think uses "wholistically" so consistently, but it's not my friends and neighbors.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 9, 2004 05:34 PM

Yeah, fun comments. But seriously, imagine the following pro-Bush TV ad:
"Here in America, there are some folks who compare other folks to Hitler. We thought you might want to see a couple, with Hitler in the middle, w/o sound. So, YOU decide whether Pres. Bush or Gov. Dean, when giving a speech, looks more like Hitler."

And then the ad splits into 3 screens, with a screaming Howard Dean, a screaming Hitler, and a calm, smirking Bush.

----

I gave some other comments to John P. Barlow's reference blog, where he gives the leading sentence about Dean wanting to raise taxes by $1900 on every typical family. And surprise, I DID see the ad (in Slovakia).
The ad is really anti-tax. And anti-intellectual; most intellectuals are often pro-tax. (Despite the historical evidence of gov't waste.)

I think Dean's campaign is about 90% "freak show". But Bush is maybe only 20% "Hitler" (I AM really troubled by the Patriot act, and Rep. crony capitalism). I challenge you to give your own scale of similarity. (With your definitions; without explanation, if you wish.)

Posted by: Tom Grey at January 9, 2004 07:42 PM

What's the fun of being a Republican if you can't lump people who disagree with you into broad, meaningless and inaccurate stereotypes?

Hell, if I wanted to be sensitive, pluristic, multicultural and respectful of others I would be a Democrat...

...no wait, that doesn't work either.

Never mind.

Posted by: DennisThePeasant at January 9, 2004 07:58 PM

Name-calling is appealing to the lowest common denomintor. I can't stand it when people do it while blogging.

This ad definitely dimishes my respect for the Club for Growth.

Posted by: AllyK at January 9, 2004 09:02 PM

"So count the number of ways people just like me were screamed at in the new anti-Dean ad. Count the number of ways the right’s new bigoted ad disgusts me." -- Michael Totten

Stereotyping "the right" by means of this ad is doing the same thing the ad is doing, which you compound by referring to the ad as "the new anti-Dean ad", as though there is some large conspiracy at work in its generation. The Club for Growth itself claims it is only a club. Dean has given any opponent whatsoever much better material than this line of attack, which is very strange, I agree. The Club for Growth must be very strange.

Therefore, and in addition, how you can take its references so personally? I don't get it.

Posted by: Joe Peden at January 9, 2004 11:45 PM

"Downtown Portland alone has 395 Starbucks, which is not quite enough as far as I’m concerned."

Whoa, you sleep at night? Ever?

Posted by: Scott Wickstein at January 10, 2004 03:23 AM

Whoa, you sleep at night? Ever?

Sleep is for the weak.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 10, 2004 11:08 PM

Starbucks? STARBUCKS?! TO HELL WITH STARBUCKS!

TULLY'S IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO!

Oh c'mon, you didn't think that a guy with "Raging" in his name would actually be opposed to highly caffinated drinks, would you?

In all seriousness, those of you who only have Starbucks are missing out on some good java. Tully's is a local chain that I'm fond of in Seattle. There's also a Capitol Hill store called "The Coffee Messiah" that's better than any of the big chains.

And as for this ad, it's just as bad as the hack pieces attacking Bush. I had hoped that the Repubs wouldn't stoop this low, but it looks like I'm wrong. Wrong and disappointed.

Posted by: Raging Dave at January 11, 2004 06:09 PM

Raging Dave,

Oh, we have Tully's too. They bought up Marsee's, which was better, but they kept Marsee's pastries, otherwise I probably wouldn't go there.

Naturally, since Portland is Seattle's evil twin, we have Seattle's Best, Coffee People, Peet's, and at least a thousand independent coffee houses.

Coffee is to Portland what rice is to China.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 11, 2004 08:33 PM

Michael, If the ad had merely said "campaign" or "campaigners", instead of "freak show", would it still be over the top?

I think only the freak show is truly insulting, and pretty much minimally. Use of the word "hell", like in this blog, is more offensive. The rest is merely sneering by common sense folk against intellectual elitists. And you don't like it because these old fogies are sneering at you. (And in that respect they're dumb, counter-productive.)

I have the feeling your blog posts have done some, not too much, sneering at those you disagree with. Enjoying a group sneer is one of the main things in blogging, isn't it?

Posted by: Tom Grey at January 12, 2004 03:11 AM

Tom, in my opinion this ad is just a different form of class welfare. I'm conservative, and I've attacked the Democrats for playing the class warfare game on a number of occasions. So it does me no good to see a conservative group turn around and use the same tactics that I've been decrying for years.

The ad was a hack piece, and it should have never seen air time. I'm actually rather pissed that the only thing this club could come up with is some half-rate smear job that resorted to name calling instead of actual points. And as someone who sucks down any type of caffine like it's going out of style, calling someone a "latte drinking, sushi eating, blahblahblah" insults not only me but quite a few people that I associate with.

The ad sucked. Flat out. One or two words being changed in the ad wouldn't fix it, it's whole premise is flawed.

(Sorry to answer for you, Michael. I just had to get that out and off my chest)

Posted by: Raging Dave at January 12, 2004 07:41 AM

Tom,

Yes, the ad is class warfare.

I admit to sneering at times. Though I don't sneer at people for who they are, rather for what they say and do.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 13, 2004 01:15 AM

Actually if you ever come over the south side of the Pacific, Wellington, New Zealand, is not only Hobbit Central, but also Caffiene central. I don't think they've got 395 Starbucks, but they are working on similar sentiments.

Starbucks are very low key in Australia. Sydney has one, but I've not seen them anywhere else.

Posted by: Scott Wickstein at January 13, 2004 07:30 AM

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