I Have No Words

This is my first post on C99, and it may well be my last.

I don't even have that much to say, i thought i was completely disillusioned by the end of the 2016 campaign. There was nothing left to shock or disappoint me.

And then I read this:

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2017/12/stephen-colber...

"Stephen Colbert's Favorite Things about Mike Pence."

I mean what else can I say?
There is nothing but bitter, bitter sadness here.

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Meteor Man's picture

Colbert, who describes Pence as a “man who thinks seltzer water is too spicy,” seemed particularly tickled by the nickname Pence earned among legislators: Mike Dense. “I hope soon he’ll be President Dense,” Colbert said.

What's not to like? Can you explain your bitterness?

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12 users have voted.

"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

Centaurea's picture

@Meteor Man

I'm not the OP, and I'm not exactly bitter about Colbert, because I figured out a while back that he sold out.

But this makes me uneasy:

"I hope soon he’ll be President Dense,” 

Right there Colbert is saying he hopes that Trump is impeached (or perhaps forced to resign, a la Nixon?), and that he's looking forward to Pence becoming POTUS.

He's even giving us a preview of what his comedic approach to Pence will be during his presidency: "President Dense" and making fun of Pence's religious fanaticism. Maybe he's trying out his jokes now to refine his Pence material so he'll be ready when Pence takes office.

Right now we have a buffoon as president. With Pence, we would have a narrow-minded religious nut who truly believes that the US should be run according to the Christian bible, and that he's been divinely appointed to make that happen.

Interesting article by Jeremy Scahill of the Intercept on the dangers of Pence as president:

Mike Pence Will Be the Most Powerful Christian Supremacist in History

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15 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@Centaurea I'm a little shocked that some people are having difficulty seeing this.

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9 users have voted.

@Centaurea @Centaurea

Personally, I thought Colbert lampooned Pence in the conservative character he's played on TV for so long.

And "I hope soon he’ll be President Dense,” struck me as an obvious joke, very far from a wish...

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3 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

@Ellen North But it could fit. Certainly not a funny joke.

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3 users have voted.

@konondrum
I'm thinking shock value and the evident absurdity of anyone hoping for a dense President, one even in youth eager to betray his college buddies for having had beer at a party because fun is against his religion.

One who's mindlessly judgmental, authoritarian in his obsessive dream of dragging everyone else back into a dark age where getting stoned means a painful and barbaric death under religious law for spitting on Sunday or whatever. God forbid anyone having sex for love or fun, rather than producing babies-within-marriage until the baby-factory women each die in childbirth and the world of life perishes of compulsory maximized starving-child production!

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1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Centaurea's picture

@Ellen North If that's what it was, the allusion to the TV character went right over my head. I got rid of my TV 15 years ago. I don't watch TV shows, even via the Internet.

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1 user has voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

TheOtherMaven's picture

@Centaurea
"The most powerful Christian supremacist in history" was probably Pope Innocent III. On his watch and with his encouragement three brilliant civilizations were destroyed: the Albigensians in southern France, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, and the Byzantine Empire. (The latter two were later resurrected, but as pale shadows of what they had once been.)

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2 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Centaurea's picture

@TheOtherMaven True. Of course, people like Roy Moore would insist that the Roman Catholic popes are not Christian. The American Protestant fundamentalists have co-opted the term "Christian" to apply to themselves only.

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1 user has voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

zoebear's picture

If Jon Stewart got out of it because he had no intention of going along with the narrative?

Couldn't get into the link and read the article. Apologies for the non sequitur.

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16 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

Every single night on tv. On Comedy Central he would have. But apparently with those big CBS paychecks come big strings attached.

Colbert used to be a hero of mine. I don't know why this is the straw the broke the camel's back, but I am devastated.

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19 users have voted.
Meteor Man's picture

@konondrum

"But what really comes through in this piece is Pence’s belief that he’s doing the Lord’s work,” Colbert added. “As [Coppins] puts it, ‘what critics should worry about is not that Pence believes in God, but that he seems so certain God believes in him.’”

That strikes me as a pretty harsh and humorous criticism. What am I missing here?

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12 users have voted.

"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

@Meteor Man
is that Mike Pence is an American Torquemada. There is nothing funny about that, though Mel Brooks gave it a shot and sort of hit. Brooks showed the inquisition as a 1930s Busby Berkeley routine. Some european director showed Osama bin Laden as a brain eating zombie. Colbert showed Pence as an awkward teenager. The BBC (?) tried showing Hitler as a goofy neighbor - the show as gone down in history as an epic failure that offended millions. See?

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11 users have voted.

A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

thanatokephaloides's picture

@doh1304

What you're missing is that Mike Pence is an American Torquemada. There is nothing funny about that,

And therefore comedians shouldn't "go there".

The Chump was manna from heaven to the likes of Colbert. Pence, OTOH, is useless for thios kind of humor, as he has none.

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2 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

zoebear's picture

@Meteor Man

Is really what is missing from our supposed "subversive" comedy. Mark from Queens provided an excellent link down thread discussing both Stewart and Colbert in the context of political humor and the role it plays, or more pointedly, what role it was meant to play:

What Stewart and Colbert do most nights is convert civic villainy into disposable laughs. They prefer Horatian satire to Juvenalian, and thus treat the ills of modern media and politics as matters of folly, not concerted evil. Rather than targeting the obscene cruelties borne of greed and fostered by apathy, they harp on a rogues’ gallery of hypocrites familiar to anyone with a TiVo or a functioning memory. Wit, exaggeration, and gentle mockery trump ridicule and invective. The goal is to mollify people, not incite them

The author of the article makes a convincing case for what political comedy is, and what it isn't in the context of broadcast media. Here's the link: https://thebaffler.com/salvos/the-jokes-on-you

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5 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

snoopydawg's picture

@konondrum

after Obama became president? Everything that they said about Bush should have been said about Obama too, but they gave him a complete pass for the war crimes he committed just like Bush did.

And Rachel has lost what was left of her reputation for pushing the Russian propaganda. People are being told that Trump had direct relations with Putin while the only information that has been released by Mueller is that Flynn lied about talking to someone in Putin's government. The truth is that Flynn did speak with a Russian after Trump was elected, but he did it on Kushner's orders and it was about the upcoming vote for sanctions on Israel. Rachel has not reported that.

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20 users have voted.

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

WE staged no Revolution to prevent it. That will be our epitaph.

Alligator Ed's picture

they lack understanding. Speaking for myself, I have had to take a politics holiday every so often because this shit is infuriating. Please fortify yourself with your favorite potion and then contribute more. If any website can put up with me, they can handle anybody.

Preved

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27 users have voted.

For President Pence, trying to make him look folksy. He says President Pence right there. It could not be more explicit. He is trying to normalize him to the American public. Absolutely disgusting.

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17 users have voted.
Meteor Man's picture

@konondrum
There were not any auto correct typos in my block quote konundrum. The quote was "President Dense".

I fail to see the problem here, so I'll just back out now.

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12 users have voted.

"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

Lily O Lady's picture

@Meteor Man

you noticed how cute and folksy he has become? Nothing like that awful Trump! We’ve completely forgotten the awkward neck rub Dubya gave Angela Merkel.

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6 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

@konondrum I’ve been convinced since the beginning Trump is a stalking horse and shit like this only furthers my suspicion.

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4 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

They played the same game that Rachel and Keith did. I have been thinking about this since I started watching Jimmy Dore and Camp. I realized that I used to never miss the other twos shows and wondered if Dore and Camp could sell out too in the future.

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21 users have voted.

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

WE staged no Revolution to prevent it. That will be our epitaph.

thanatokephaloides's picture

And Monsieur Colbert is not particularly adept at back-handed snark, which is the main means of attack open to him on today's CBS.

The memories of the demise of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour run deep indeed:

Their own television variety show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, became one of the most controversial American TV programs of the Vietnam War era. Despite popular success, the brothers' penchant for material that was critical of the political mainstream and sympathetic to the emerging counterculture led to their firing by the CBS network in 1969. One show was left unaired.

source

And this isn't the first time Stephen's gotten into this class of trouble with snark. I still have family members who believe that his right-wing roleplay on The Colbert Report was on the level!

So I say: Cut Stephen some Slack, but do please stick around here, good old c99, yourself, writing and commenting. As you are now discovering, even when we disagree with one another's ideas, we maintain the utmost respect and esteem for each other's persons. Yes, that's rare among political blogs. But it's how we roll here.

So welcome! And do please allow us to hear more from you!

Smile

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21 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

But I'm really not sure what you are not understanding. The entire purpose of this article is to make Mike Pence look more acceptable to the American people. I'm absolutely shocked that you cannot see the subtext here.

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9 users have voted.
Centaurea's picture

@konondrum of Pence as president.

More psyops, in other words. Manufacturing consent.

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11 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

My above replies were all to Meteor Man and not to you Thanatokepaloidies, but it also applies. Feel free to disagree, but this is blatant corporate propaganda to me. They are normalizing him to the American people because that's what the PTB want. They are preparing us for his installment right now.

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10 users have voted.
Deja's picture

@konondrum
I too have this issue sometimes, and have contacted JtC about it. Now there are 2 - odd.

JtC, whatcha got?

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4 users have voted.

"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

@Deja

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5 users have voted.

@konondrum
on the essay itself use the comment form at the bottom. To reply to a comment use the blue "Reply" button under the comment you want to reply to.

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10 users have voted.

@Deja
the nesting problems that you occasionally have on your phone is probably due to the small screen interface and you are inadvertently removing the parent link from the text editor body. Removing the parent link will cause the comment to act as a comment to the essay rather than a reply and it will default to the bottom of the comment thread.

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7 users have voted.
Deja's picture

@JtC
My issue happened like this:

1.) Tapping reply, directly under member I'm replying to (I know how to do that.)

2.) Typing a subject (I usually hit backspace due to the cursor landing on space 2, instead of space 1 before I type anything - even on my desktop)

3.) Typing my reply comment

4.) Tapping preview

5.) Seeing the comment above the person I intended's ID in the preview

6.) Thinking I fucked up, canceling the reply, and repeating steps 1-5

7.) Ending up with a reply to my intended recipient AND the person who left a basic essay reply (directly to the essay author, - exactly like the one I was replying to, only a completely different user, and on his own, separate, direct reply to the essay author, DIRECTLY ABOVE the member my reply button tap was intended for.

I deleted nothing. I cancelled, and tried again.

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3 users have voted.

"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

@Deja
the first empty space in the subject line, it's there for a reason.

There are so many different devices (phones, pads, laptops, computers) that are all configured with different hardware combinations that it's impossible for me to troubleshoot each and every problem with each one. I can't tell you what your problem is without being able to duplicate it myself. It seems like phones have the most problems, possibly due to the software they use. And since it doesn't happen all the time, that tells me it's either operator error or a software glitch.

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5 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

@JtC

Don't delete the first empty space in the subject line, it's there for a reason.

I should have known! You're one of our cleverest Conqueroos.

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5 users have voted.

@Pluto's Republic
the parent link program the default for the subject line was (@username). That quickly became tedious and didn't work well in the Recent Comments listings in the sidebar. The subject line for every comment was @username which was OK for catching the targeted user's attention but it didn't say much about the actual subject of the comment and really made the Recent Comments list unusable.

The only way I was able to defeat the default subject line was to add the empty space at the beginning. It doesn't really hurt anything to delete/backspace the empty space but it does cause a warning to kick out in the logs.

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5 users have voted.
Deja's picture

@JtC
I've been deleting that space almost forever - since I realized it was there.
I'll fight the urge to delete the 1st space.
Sorry.

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3 users have voted.

"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

@Deja
It doesn't hurt anything, it just leaves an annoying warning (actually just a notice) in the logs.

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3 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

@JtC

Everytime a post is edited, say one that picked up lots of typos in the process of writing it, it adds another space. Eventually it will triggers an "title too long" error on this end. Then I will erase them, but I usually leave one space if I can.

Sometimes people's @names appear correctly when copied to the Subject line. Sometimes, they appear as number strings. Why is that?

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1 user has voted.

@Pluto's Republic
use the subject line the parent link resolves to a username when the comment is published.

Some folks don't use the subject line and just type in the comment body, that results in a numbered parent link in the subject line because it doesn't resolve to a username. That also causes the few words in the subject line to repeat in the comment body. It's a little annoying but it is what it is. It could be rectified if everyone used the subject line.

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3 users have voted.
Mark from Queens's picture

They're neoliberal Democrats, like all the late night comics now. These guys don't have a shred of speaking real truth to power the way Bill Hicks or George Carlin did (although Colbert deserves credit for eviscerating Bush to his face). Jimmy Dore and Lee Camp are the only ones doing it now.

I've linked to this article a few times here and it is always apropos for these types of discussions. It's a must-read for this thread.

"The Joke Is On You," from the Baffler.

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23 users have voted.

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

@Mark from Queens Loved your stuff during the primary at ToP. Good to hear from you.

Edited:

To think I used to believe Al Franken was a straight shooter too! Ah those lovely days of ignorant bliss.

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18 users have voted.
Mark from Queens's picture

@konondrum
I think you were the one who commented on the essay I wrote at TOP during the primary that went over 1000 recs, that it was some kind of achievement. You told me that it was not uncommon way back when, but in the last few years it became kind of a rarity. Thanks for that.

I seem to also remember, but maybe I'm wrong, that you live in NYC (or are from here). We've been discussing having more regional C99 Meetups and I would like to organize one for here. Would be nice if you could make it.

I'm completely with you on the Neoliberal comics showing their true colors. I gave up on both Stewart and Colbert years ago, the latter being more difficult to do. They've been almost completely useless during the Obama years, and after their treatment of Occupy (as the brilliant Baffler piece points out) I jettisoned them for good. Helps also to get rid of cable and not watch tv. But glad you brought this to our attention. Just solidifies my position, and makes me want to redouble my efforts as one of many things I need to be more vocal about, to convince friends who still tune in to them thinking their getting the "progressive" point of view that they're getting divide and conquer propaganda.

And as you mentioned also, John Oliver's treatment of Jill Stein soured me greatly to him. And I had probably become an ever greater fan of his, because he was doing some amazing investigative reporting and using his platform to activate viewers to literally get involved with petitioning offending elected officials and legislation. That was great. But turns out when it came down to it, he's just another corporate sellout not willing to challenge the duopoly electoral system. Couldn't straighten his back and say that if there ever was a time to see it the 2016 Election was the biggest fraudulent sham of all-time. But he chose to ignore it, push the LOTE bs and take gratuitous shots at Jill Stein.

Franken in the mid-2000's was part of what was then an amazing crew at Air America. But how many of them sold out by showing their true colors defending Hillary? He, Maddow, Thom Hartmann and Sam Seder (it seems) all have. Hartmann seems to have gone back to his populist roots. Jeanine Garafolo was also part of the AA crew; but I don't think she'd ever sellout. (As an aside, when I met her through a comedian friend a couple of years ago, she had the most amazing essential oils on and a badass hippie/hipster jacket that momentarily re-ignited the little crush I had on her way back when).

We sometimes might think we're a backwoods minority here on the true so-called "progressive blogs," but I think the reality is the opposite is true. I think we just need to be more vocal in challenging all this putrid MSM-manufactured propaganda. With nearly 50% of the population not bothering voting, the winds are at out back for significant change to happen among the disenfranchised and pissed off.

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9 users have voted.

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

Wink's picture

@Mark from Queens
away with that virtually unscathed. That was a total smackdown, total undressing, right there in front of God and everyone - on national tv! Amazing.

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10 users have voted.

the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-1.9) All about building progressive media.

mimi's picture

@Mark from Queens
had a big thing rally at the Washington DC Mall way back in the times with stage and videos etc. As I can't access my own files, I have only this link to provide for context:
Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear

Despite Stewart's insistence to the contrary, news reports cast the rally as a spoof of Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor rally and Al Sharpton's Reclaim the Dream rally.[5][6]

That was in 2010 and me ignoramus was there and was - as I remember - somewhat disappointed. I wasn't able to figure out what it was back then - just saying - my guts told me that "this is not what I would consider" a help to restore my own sanity or calming my own fears. It appeared to me as as way to not really speak up and not seriously speak truth to power.

I think the wiki page is worth a re-read today. But I am way too far away. Comedy is like a drink, it helps you to drown your gut's worries for a couple of hours, before your realize that wasn't the cure. ...

Thank you for your comment. I will read your link in a little bit.

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11 users have voted.
Steven D's picture

@Mark from Queens They're Millionaires trying to become Billionaires. Their former status has no appeal to them, much less anyone still stuck in that situation (or worse).

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9 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

zoebear's picture

@Mark from Queens

Has become, and who it serves.

I remember being especially peeved at Jon when he aired his piece on OWS, thinking to myself "not helpful, Jon" and disappointed because he had the power to highlight what was happening in his own backyard very effectively. Hadn't occurred to me then that his mission to stay "relevant" in the lucrative market of media dispensed opium fell more along the lines of what the author summarizes in his closing:

In a sense, these quacks have no more reliable allies than Stewart and Colbert. For the ultimate ethos of their television programs is this: the customer is always right. We need not give in to sorrow, or feel disgust, or take action, because our brave clown princes have the tonic for what ails the national spirit. Their clever brand of pseudo-subversion guarantees a jolt of righteous mirth to the viewer, a feeling that evaporates the moment their shows end. At which point we return to our given role as citizens: consuming whatever the quacks serve up next.

Thanks for the link to a well written and astute look at the role our modern day court jesters are actually playing. The entire piece is a must read.

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10 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

@zoebear Shook me good at the time. I can't even listen to him anymore, just disgraceful.

Yeah, he may spend 3 minutes talking about net neutrality or whatever, but it's clear his job is not to educate but to distract and manipulate.

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9 users have voted.
zoebear's picture

@konondrum

In the last year where I have either cringed at recalling my years of loyalty as a partisan patsy, or wistfully remembering how much easier it was living in ignorance. This brave new "woke" world offers very little relief in the way of comfort out there. Living in reality among the insane and the cravenly greedy is a lonely and merciless march through betrayal and frustration. It's also one of the main reasons I spend what little "leisure" time I have here among fellow refugees of last years election.

So, welcome. You are not alone in your "woke ness"

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9 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

@zoebear I must say I'm not really a fan of the term "woke" though. I mean, yes, i do feel like the vast majority are stumbling around in a carefully crafted dream. But there's a narcissism to the term that I find kind of icky.

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5 users have voted.
zoebear's picture

@konondrum

Of staying away from social media. I'm not pelted with the noise of the day. Used the term "woke" in a more sardonic attempt to define the new state of awareness we collectively find ourselves in. Others here have compared our awareness to taking the "red pill" from the movie, "The Matrix", but since I've never seen the movie, I didn't use that analogy.

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8 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

@konondrum IIRC, it was in line with the “fairy dust and unicorns” stuff that Clinton was on. I couldn’t understand how anyone in the audience was laughing as he was mocking Sander’s platform, but it outlined where Oliver is coming from.

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7 users have voted.

I'm pretty sure I replied to the comments all 3 times. After the first time it happened I made sure I was pressing the right button. For whatever reason, these comments appear to be nesting correctly.

Hope that clarifies.

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5 users have voted.

I thought he was a man of true character.

Edited:
@Wink

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7 users have voted.

@konondrum
don't remove the parent link. (it'll look like @#number, @#number etc,). If you remove that then your comment wont nest in the right place and will appear as a comment to the essay and will default to the bottom of the comment thread.

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7 users have voted.

@JtC Got it. Thanks JtC.

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6 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@JtC

When you reply to a comment...
don't remove the parent link. (it'll look like @Dopeman , @Lookout etc,).

Actually, in the editor, it'll look like "@" followed by symbols and numbers. This changes to @Dopeman, @Lookout etc., when the comment is saved.

In either case, if you want the comment to nest correctly, don't delete this material!

Smile

p.s. Thank you for all you do, JtC!!

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5 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@thanatokephaloides
to remove the extra parent link that shows when you edit your comment, as long as you leave one parent link it will nest as a reply.

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5 users have voted.
Pariah Dog's picture

@JtC

I just get numbers. Like for this post it has @JtC

I assume that's you, JtC.

Okay, that didn't work as it converted the symbols to your name.

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3 users have voted.

Meddle not in the affairs of Dragons - For thou art crunchy and good with ketchup

@Pariah Dog
in the text editor but when you publish the comment it resolves to the username.

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3 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

@JtC

Maybe it's my browser.

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1 user has voted.

@Pluto's Republic
it explains why that happens.

https://caucus99percent.com/comment/316095#comment-316095

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2 users have voted.
Pariah Dog's picture

@JtC

Even when you don't want them to!

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0 users have voted.

Meddle not in the affairs of Dragons - For thou art crunchy and good with ketchup

snoopydawg's picture

@konondrum

I tried making this point in one of my comments. The same thing happened with Keith and Rachel after Obama was president. They had all kinds of nasty things to say about Bush, but got amnesia during Obama's tenure. So did many people on ToP. I was accused of being an Obama hater, a racist and other names because people only saw who he was on the outside. Very charming family man and a ruthless war criminal. They refused to see that he was no different than Bush or Cheney. I had many fights with them about Hillary's warmongering....

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20 users have voted.

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

WE staged no Revolution to prevent it. That will be our epitaph.

@snoopydawg I know, I've been watching this pattern over and over. I don't know why this put me on tilt, but I really respected Stephen for his Correspondants speech.

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14 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@konondrum

I hope that you will stick around with us. Stephen's press dinner speech was a thing of beauty and I too can't believe that he didn't suffer from it. His and Stewart's shows during the Bush years gave a lot of us some relief from what they were doing. I see why you are disappointed with him.

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14 users have voted.

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

WE staged no Revolution to prevent it. That will be our epitaph.

mimi's picture

@snoopydawg
your feelings about Obama. I understand all the arguments given, but don't believe in the judgement that he was a 'ruthless warmonger', when he started out in 2007/8. To me he seemed to be a light-weigh and clueless naive about anything that related to other countries' political interests and peoples outside the US. In that sense if you want to hate or judge anybody for them being clueless, I wonder who you wouldn't judge that way.

My son and me had canvassed in Obama's first presidential campaign. I think my son also voted for him (that being his first time voting at all - as he became a US citizen in late 2003). I remember that both of us became disillusioned about him when he didn't make the efforts to stop the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and didn't close Guantanamo Bay. We both were not able to understand the discussions about the question, if Obama could or couldn't have done that. I believe most Germans still believe that Obama had no chance to implement his campaign propaganda later when he became President. Therefore the relative lenient way they think about him.

I remember also (unfortunately I remember things that are not relevant to most of you) that - ironically - Angela Merkel, who is accused of a lot of stuff - seemed to have been the only one whose instincts told her that Obama is a bit too "easy on aggrandizing himself". She therefore didn't allow him to speak in Berlin's Brandenburg Gate.

Conflict over Berlin Visit Becomes US Campaign Issue

The fact that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is less than thrilled about the idea (me: Obama speak at the Brandenburg Gate), has made the rounds in the American media. But Obama, casually dressed in an buttondown shirt without a tie, appeared very relaxed. "We have been trying to coordinate with the folks on the ground in terms of finding an appropriate site, but we didn't have a particular site in mind," Obama said according to the paper. "I want to make sure that my message is heard as opposed to creating new controversy. Our goal is for me to lay out how I think about the next administration's role in rebuilding a trans-Atlantic alliance. I don't want the venue to be a distraction."
It was almost as if he said it in passing, but even so, it sounded as though it were the end of the ambitious plans for a speech at the Brandenburg Gate that has kept his team on tenterhooks for days now. The debate those plans sparked have even come as a surprise to his staff.

and

Is Obama Speech Site Contaminated by Nazi Past?.

The exact location of Obama's speech had become a matter of intense speculation in Berlin after his campaign team originally suggested an appearance at the Brandenburg Gate. Many, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, questioned whether the site -- where Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton both spoke when they were in the White House -- was appropriate for a candidate. Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit, who is a major figure in Germany's Social Democrats, was in favor of the Brandenburg Gate site and the Obama visit quickly became yet another excuse for German politicians to fire off barbs at each other.

I remember the coverage of the speech. I also remember being in agreement with Merkel's point of views.

German Politicians Are in an Obama Tizzy.

I think Merkel had the right instincts. Til today that is not seen by most Americans.

Oh, and btw many of you wonder why Germans have been big Obama fans, as it is said in many opinion pieces in the US and in Germany. I think the answer is pretty obvious. With our German racial history, our generation (mine that is the post wwII born ones, now elderly) have a justified fear of racism, so I doubt that a lot of Germans would have had the guts to criticize Obama back then when he campaigned the first time. On which basis should a German have done it? So, I think, Angela Merkel's instincts were the most 'criticism' you could expect from a German politician.

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@mimi

thx

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9 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@mimi  
My story is kind of the antiparticle or through-the-looking-glass version of yours, since I made the opposite journey, from Hawaii to Germany.

By now, even though I’ve lived in Germany for four decades, I realize that — let’s face it — I’ll never really understand what it’s like to be an “Ossi” / a German. I’ll never think about, or have the same personal reaction to, politics and social developments that a German / an Ossi would have.

In particular, I’ll never really understand in my gut all the guilt and walking-on-eggshells and bending-over-backwards that afflicts a typical educated German as soon as the slightest whiff of uh-oh-maybe-it’s-prejudice surfaces.

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mimi's picture

@lotlizard @lotlizard
I watched the Berlin Wall coming down - Gorby and the Gipper playing nice with each other etc - from Washington DC at a time I had no connections at my job to news, media, internet or the like. I felt tremendous hope and joy over what had happened watching the coverage on US MSM TV news on my sofa in good 'ol Washington DC. It was of course nowhere enough to understand what was going on for me.

When I heard about the Ossi / Wessi debacles later on, I was so disappointed and confused. Of course I couldn't understand really how it must have felt for the Ossis being 'the other Germans'. I think only in the last weeks or so it became more comprehensible to me.

I saw a little feature on German TV (forgot which one, ARD or ZDF), in which a youngish girl reporter met with a group of elderly former East Germans near - I think it was Dresden or Leipzig - in a garage, where she managed to get the men open up to explain their 'not liking too much the many refugees' and it was - as they say - 'not racism or xenophobia'. Yet it was clear from what they said, that they felt it was unfair that asylum seekers got a lot of more goodies in social services and freedoms for free than they themselves ever got. Things they themselves had missed during the GDR regime under Honecker far too long.

For the first time I felt I could have some empathy with their thinking, even if my brain told me that they sounded 'right-wingish' to my 'left-wingish' ears.

You know I just rediscover my homeland, ie "fatherland". Oh my, what a word.

My mothers influence on me was much more subtle, but more persistent. She talked very little, but her silence often was very telling and her being 'not an activist', but her doing mostly the right thing was what was 'formative'. She never would have told anyone to believe this or that, go to church or not, basically being unconnected intellectually and emotionally the official churches and their religions. She had her reasons and I think they came into being on experiences she made during wwII. That's why I wasn't raised to be a "believer" and have feeble relation to religious beliefs. But I realize sometimes that I miss that as well. My ping-pong journeys from Germany to East Coast to Hawaii to Germany back and forth during the last four decades were not all voluntarily made. So, for sure, confusion is my middle name. Smile

As for walking on egg-shells when some of us Germans see a racial or ethnic prejudice on the horizon - even if it may be a fata morgana - I think not all of them have that reaction.

When I grew up I happened to be 'fascinated' with the life-stories of Holocaust survivors through books I picked in a library. My siblings - one read way more than me, the other read almost nothing (but he became enthusiastic for JFK for a while) - had not these reactions and are not aware of mine or theirs. This kind of fascination (which is an awful word for describing my feelings from my teenage years), is probably similar to what today's youngster have with the intertubes's many places, where they believe to have found the fountain of wisdom and truth.

I think it happens to be more an individual reaction of each person, than it's a bug or a feature of the "German Soul" so to speak. Na ja, may be one of my typical German excuses? Who knows ... ?

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EdMass's picture

@mimi

light-weight

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3 users have voted.

"I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you"

Alvin Lee - Ten Years After

Stop the War!

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@EdMass I'll believe a lot of things about Obama, but not that he's stupid or naive.

He was new to DC, not politics--and the politics he came up through was Chicago politics.

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3 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

snoopydawg's picture

@mimi

and drone assassinations that target civilians, slavery and not prosecuting war criminal who tortured innocent people and financial criminals whose greed has caused so much pain and misery. I didn't think I had to explain this.

Obama was far from being naive when he was running for the presidency. He knew damn well what his job was going to be.

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7 users have voted.

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

WE staged no Revolution to prevent it. That will be our epitaph.

mimi's picture

@snoopydawg
many times is not what I criticized or wanted to get at. I only asked myself, why you don't seem to talk with the same intensity about Bush, Cheney, Bill Clinton and others. They have done the same as Obama did.

And who do you think has not a problem with genocide? Or with not prosecuting violations of international criminal and war laws, which many US Presidents have ?

What got me most upset about Obama was the fact that he was a constitutional lawyer and - having been that - I would have expected he would take international criminal and war laws way more serious than he did.

As I explained elsewhere, I don't think you will find many Germans my age, who have NOT a problem with genocide. Obviously we Germans had a 'masters degree' in genocide, right? (Sorry for saying it bluntly) Wasn't the word genocide created or used based on what Germans did to the Jews during the first half of the 20th century? And contrary to what some Americans think, we did learn in school what we had done, and it was not swept under the carpet. At least not in my school and in my time (late fifties to late sixties) and in my region (Northern Germany and Berlin).

One paragraph of the Wikipedia Page on the German RAF group summarizes it pretty well:

The origins of the RAF group can be traced back to the student protest movement in West Germany. Industrialized nations in the late 1960s experienced social upheavals related to the maturing of the "baby boomers", the Cold War and the end of colonialism. Newly found youth identity and issues such as racism, women's liberation and anti-imperialism were at the forefront of left-wing politics. Many young people were alienated, from both their parents and the institutions of state. The historical legacy of Nazism drove a wedge between the generations and increased suspicion of authoritarian structures in society ...

In West Germany there was anger among leftist youth at the post-war denazification in West Germany and East Germany, which was perceived as a failure or as ineffective,[8] as former (actual and supposed) Nazis held positions in government and the economy.[9] The Communist Party of Germany had been outlawed since 1956.[10] Elected and appointed government positions down to the local level were often occupied by ex-Nazis.[9] Konrad Adenauer, the first Federal Republic chancellor (in office 1949–63), had even appointed former Nazi sympathiser Hans Globke as Director of the Federal Chancellery of West Germany (in office 1953–63).

Just saying we had our" problems with genocide and racism", snoopydawg, more than you ever want to have. It's our historical context having grown up in the fifties and sixties in Germany. Most people are very aware of it.

Peace, snoopydawg. Peace and justice matter. Most people know that.

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1 user has voted.

Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills.
- Grover Norquist

Pence is far more dangerous than Trump. Not just because he might bring about Armageddon on purpose to get raptured but he'll be far more effective at moving the Republican agenda. He won't be disrupting their messaging with daily bombastic fuckery like Trump, he'll faithfully recite the talking points he's given. He and "mother" will smile for nice pics with the children at the White House Easter egg hunts and all the rest...

Pence is Grover's dream come true and our worst nightmare.

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25 users have voted.

@Dopeman The fact that so many people can't walk straight into this oblivion fast enough is honestly terrifying.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@konondrum

It's not because we are oblivious or in denial about Pence, poised to step into the Oval Office. It is because we have been walking into this with our eyes wide open from the very beginning — even before the election was held. We spoke words of reality to each other to get ahead of the situation, and that was really hard. People got angry or put off. Some thought we were the enemy, and nothing could be further from the truth. You can't mount a rescue if you refuse to deal with reality — and that includes facing the truth about the so-called leaders of this party and the nation.

This may not be the happiest blog in cyberspace, but it's solid and intellectually honest. We are not slaves to ideologies and try to remain openminded about sources if the facts can be verified. Stick around and let us know what you think. Different ideas and observations from your own life are really welcomed.

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18 users have voted.

@Pluto's Republic
i wander into conversations with shell-shocked left-libs, many of whom i have known for quite a while, and they can't comprehend my equanimity, while they are living in terror. all i can tell them is, "i was where you are 10 years ago."

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7 users have voted.

Sigh

Pluto's Republic's picture

@UntimelyRippd @UntimelyRippd

I'll bet you were born blasé. Dirol

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@UntimelyRippd Correct. As far as racism and election fraud (even if those accusations of fraud against Trump are true), I was there 17 years ago. Bet you were too.

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2 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

lotlizard's picture

@UntimelyRippd  

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1 user has voted.

@lotlizard
when I started kindergarten!! Cherry tree, my ass.

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2 users have voted.

Sigh

lotlizard's picture

@UntimelyRippd  
… I put that envelope underneath all that garbage.” — Arlo Guthrie

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Lookout's picture

There are a slew of folks who want to impeach T-rump. I'm not one of them.

Many of my "liberal" friends that read the NYT and WaPo think russiagate will bring down ole "tiny hands". They are wrong...including Colbert. Why worry about about what they say?

Now possibly, just possibly, some dirty money shenanigan involving T-rump's real estate empire could bite him in the ass, but the oligarchs all play that game and what's good for the goose might be good for the gander (and TPTB might get cooked too), so I doubt they will go there. Just look at all the shit with the Clinton Foundation that still hasn't seen the light of day.

If you're going to wig out about something, I suggest the Tax Scam is a better vehicle for your anger. T-rumps impeachment is a pipe dream of misled dumbocrats (IMO).

Good start with your first essay here. Jump in the water's fine....

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16 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Lookout

It's the American people at their most vulnerable, and frankly pathetic. We've lost a generation of news people, comedians, satirists, and journalists. They're all over there, holding on to wisps of smoke, and propping up each other's faith in the sanctity of "authority" — in the obvious absence of tangible, credible, peer-reviewed evidence.

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10 users have voted.

What Colbert did is what I would expect a stand-up comic would do. Some parts funny and other parts not. Using childhood angst was not all that funny. That segment goes along with a Colbert theme that the Trump administration is ignorant.

Colbert though, did play his part in pushing Trump for the nomination when he had on Bill Clinton (during primaries). Clinton bashed Bernie supporters as essentially complainers and losers, and had very high praise for Trump.

Previously when I have seen some of Colbert's clips, he crossed over into bashing Russia really as a nation and people. But he filmed parts of his show in Russia one time and refrained from setting up individual Russians for mockery. (I have seen segments from the Daily Show and John Oliver basically say the country Russia is a piece of shit.)

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9 users have voted.
EdMass's picture

Deep Breath. We're not like them.

You can say anything you want.

You can have your own opinions

We're pretty cool here.

Deep Breath.

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6 users have voted.

"I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you"

Alvin Lee - Ten Years After

Stop the War!

@EdMass I just mostly lurk, because everyone else usually says what needs to be said. That Atlantic article just put me over the edge for some reason. Lost a hero of mine, and it stung.

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7 users have voted.
Cassiodorus's picture

The Republicans were able to sell America on two terms of Reagan and a term of Bush because the liberals could be so easily pushed aside. By that time they had become so irrelevant that America was ready to embrace two terms of Clinton, two terms of Bush Junior and two terms of Obama. Is there some reason we embrace liberals as a political force and enshrine Stephen Colbert as their voice?

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3 users have voted.

"Day-to-day life under crapitalism is so horrible and depressing." -- Sam Miller

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Cassiodorus

After 1980, if they hadn't become Republicans?

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Cassiodorus's picture

@Pluto's Republic But I am saying that if liberals will vote for Republicans if said politicians have a (D) next to their names, then it hardly matters that they loudly proclaim their liberalism to the world.

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1 user has voted.

"Day-to-day life under crapitalism is so horrible and depressing." -- Sam Miller